Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Reading Spectacular #7

Yesterday I finished reading Swindle by good old Canadian Gordon Korman. Like most of his books, it's a breezy, enjoyable little romp for kids. You've got to hand it to Mr. Korman, he is churning out books like mad, and there's a certain formula to many of them, but he does seem to know his audience and can tap into what they find funny. I guess the trick of his is to take the ingredients for his formula (quirky characters with one being the hyper-focused ringleader, add in the immediate subject of the ringleader's focus, develop an obsessive plan or goal, and mix in rather outlandish plot elements which illuminate the character's ingenuity) and shuffle them into various situations from book to book. And it works. Kids are still eating his stuff up, and I can't deny that I'm still reading his stuff (old and new), too.

In this case, you've got a kid who was swindled out of a valuable baseball card and who, with the aid of several schoolmates with specific talents (a rock climber, a computer hacker, a budding actor, and an animal-loving "dog whisperer") hatches a plan a break-and-enter to reclaim what he believes is rightly his.

It takes virtually no time to read and serves as pleasant escapism for the duration. Hey, Mr. Korman knows what he's doing.

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