The Great Greene Heist

10 Jul

greatgreeneIf you’re looking for a cast of characters that can show off diversity with a great story, then look no further than The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson.  Jackson Greene has sworn off scheming up any more heists, especially after the last one lost him his best friend.  That is, until something smells a little fishy about a candidate who has decided to run for class president.  What ensues may be the biggest heist he’s ever pulled off, if he can get it together in time.  Working with a team of troublemakers, Jackson hopes the biggest con in Mapplewood Middle School’s history will work and that his almost-girlfriend and former best friend begins talking to him again.

As stated in Varian Johnson’s biography his inspiration for this story comes from Ocean’s 11, The Westing Game and other well known stories, movies and TV shows.  I started reading this book and felt as though I began in the middle of series, but I believe this is the first book Johnson has written for a middle grade audience.  And as you read, you learn more about Jackson Greene’s previous escapades and why he’s in his current position.  I also liked seeing the added content after the story with “The Greene Code of Conduct” that is mentioned throughout the story and a list of a number of different cons and their descriptions as well.  As I said earlier, the cast of characters is truly diverse and not necessarily in a “in-your-face” way; it’s more as thought they are interesting characters who also happen to be fill-in-the-blank.  This is a great suggestion for middle grade boys and girls looking for a fun, fast-paced book and they’ll be rooting for Jackson and his team the whole way!

Title: The Great Greene Heist
Author: Varian Johnson
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: 2014
Page Number: 226 pgs.

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