Author: Korman, Gordon
Told in different voices, on Centerlight Island, halfway between the United States and Canada, middle-schoolers Keenan and ZeeBee team up to seek gold rumored to be hidden there by a famous gangster.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 506012
School Library Journal (12/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2019 When ZeeBee befriends Keenan, he’s just beginning to rebuild his stamina after a bout of tuberculosis, while she’s fiercely angry over the death of Barney, her old, troublemaking dog. She's indifferent to her current pet, a sweet, devoted spaniel that Keenan adores, and she suspects every resident of their island who detested Barney (the list is long) of murdering him. When school starts, Keenan is drawn into a circle of popular, somewhat reckless kids, to ZeeBee’s dismay. A Canadian who must attend school on the mainland, she feels increasingly isolated until Keenan makes a disturbing discovery and they join forces to uncover the truth about Barney’s death. Korman sketches characters with swift, sure strokes and places them in a distinctive setting: situated on an island in the St. Clair River, their town sits on a zigzagging international border dividing Michigan from Ontario. A subplot involving a treasure hidden by historical gangsters provides local color, but it's the intrepid young detectives who drive the story and make this a book that Korman fans won't want to miss. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2019 Gr 3–7—Keenan is a world traveler thanks to his mother, who teaches in international schools. He's forced to recover from tuberculosis on sleepy Centerlight Island. Half of this odd town is in Canada, and the other half is in the United States. At first, his only friend is a Canadian girl named Zarabeth, or ZeeBee, who is convinced that Prohibition-era gangsters buried treasure somewhere on the island. ZeeBee also talks constantly about her deceased dog, Barney, a humongous mutt that terrorized the town and all its residents but died under mysterious circumstances that ZeeBee is determined to uncover. ZeeBee loved Barney despite all his flaws and sees her new dog, calm and obedient Barney Two, as a poor substitute. When Keenan starts school (on the American side), he makes multiple friends, but doesn't connect with any of them like he does with ZeeBee. As Keenan and ZeeBee investigate the many residents of Centerlight who had reason to want Barney dead, they discover a deep kinship in each other that neither has experienced before. Chapters mostly alternate between Keenan's and ZeeBee's perspectives. Chapters narrated by the other residents of Centerlight move the narrative along, but the inclusion of adult-narrated chapters feels odd. Overall, however, the fast-moving, action-packed plot makes this a great choice for reluctant readers. VERDICT While not as funny as many of Korman's other titles, this is nevertheless a diverting read full of suspense and historical intrigue.—Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, MA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.