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|Loot : how to steal a fortune|
Author: Watson, Jude
[Bk. 1] When Alfie McQuinn, the notorious jewel thief, is killed on a job, his last words to his son, March, are to "find jewels" and this instruction leads the boy to Jules, the twin sister he never knew he had--and the perfect partner to carry on the family business.
Loot, Bk. 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 167340
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 62960
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/01/14)
School Library Journal (05/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2014 Gr 4–7—Twelve-year-old March McQuinn has lived a life that many kids can only dream about—world travel, no school, and exciting hijinks—but it comes at a cost. He has always felt as though something, or someone, was missing from his life. So when his father, the notorious jewel thief Alfie McQuinn, falls to his death during a burglary, March is left completely alone. That is, until he is reunited with his long-lost twin sister Jules, who has been traveling with their aunt's street performance group. Following a quick stint in a group home and armed only with street smarts and Alfie's clues, the twins and their friends set out to finish Alfie's last heist before Alfie's rivals do. With well-developed supporting characters and two likable protagonists, Watson has delivered an exciting, clever middle-grade mystery. Although her treatment of death and abandonment sometimes feel a bit too lighthearted, it is in keeping with the fanciful feel of the rest of the story. Throughout, the characters develop organically, and Watson doesn't shy away from real-world consequences. This helps give the book a real sense of urgency during each of the movie-quality action scenes, which makes it a perfect fit for fans of Stuart Gibbs's Belly Up (S. & S., 2011) or Gordon Korman's Swindle (Scholastic, 2009).—Amanda Augsburger, Moline Public Library, IL - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2014 When master jewel thief Alfie McQuinn dies, his stashed set of clues and cryptic last words to March, his 12-year-old son and apprentice, mark the beginning of a race against time. The first clue leads March to discover his twin sister, Jules, a traveling circus acrobat. Tossed into a group home, they meet Darius, a juvenile delinquent with a soft spot for Izzy, a code-cracking hacker. The four join forces, busting out of the home and into a series of high-stakes heists to reclaim seven cursed moonstone gems once stolen by Alfie. The reward promised is a sizzling seven million bucks, enough to set them up with the home Alfie never lived to realize. The problem? There’s a curse on the twins, prophesied to culminate before their thirteenth birthday next week. Sassy narration, smart quips, pigeon drops, and slang worthy of an episode of Dragnet make this fast-paced tale of topsy-turvy antics a joy from beginning to end. Don’t try these high jinks at home, but give this book to anyone who loved the 39 Clues series. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2014 When a heist goes wrong, a trio of curses falls upon the trio of thieves. One dies; one is jailed; and Alfie, the mastermind, struggles for years to prevent the deaths of his twin children, as mysteriously foretold at the crime scene. Thus, March (raised by his larcenous father) and Jules (raised by her impresario aunt) have been kept apart to thwart the prophecy that they would die together before their thirteenth birthday. Alfie’s own death, however, puts paid to the separation, and the pair are prematurely reunited and left with a desperate hope-to reassemble the seven moonstones lost in the fateful theft, undo the curse, and collect millions of dollars from the jewels’ owner. Missing, along with the jewels, is fundamental trust between the siblings, but March and Jules, aided by a pair of misfits they meet in their brief stay at a group home, nonetheless undertake a caper that would have made dear old Alfie glow with pride. This is less a who-done-it than a how-will-they-do-it tale, but readers who enjoy racing protagonists to the solution should be well compensated with the clever scams the kids pull off to grab the goods and cheat destiny. Quick changes of scene keep the action rolling, and some of the most engrossing acts play out in the underground circus venues at which Jules has been reared to perform as an acrobat. Assorted characters from Alfie’s past, largely of the endearing crook variety, balance the tension with levity and make this a richly entertaining romp. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.