A crime syndicate controls the Franklin Middle School hallways and it’s up to Matt Stoner to unravel its web of evil in this entertaining "noir" young adult novel, a 2009 Edgar Award nominee. Sean Schemmel (Morrison and Cyrus on Pokémon; Goku on Dragon Ball Z Kai; Master Kahn on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) strikes just the right tone, not too serious when detailing the threat of water gun-toting hit boys and girls, but also not too flippant when the middle school Sam Spade comes face to face with his own code of justice and whether that means he has to take down one of his oldest friends.
You see, life at the Frank is tough. Get on the wrong side of Vinny Biggs and you'll find yourself in the Outs, the least popular "club" in school. How do you get there? Water (or any other liquid) strategically splattered below your belt for maximum humiliation.
What Nicole Finnegan, a.k.a Nikki Fingers, the most feared squirt-gun assassin at the Frank, is put in the Outs, Matt feels partially to blame and is determined to find the trigger kid. Problem is, Nikki has more enemies than a snitch during a final exam. Every kid in school is a suspect, including Kevin Carling, Matt's former best friend and the current right-hand man to Vinny Biggs. Matt had better watch his back, and especially his front, as he tackles a case with more twists than a candy addict on a swivel chair.
©2008 Jack Ferraiolo; (P)2008 Scholastic Inc.
My son really enjoyed this book and is looking forward to hearing the sequel. The narrator does a pretty nice job as well. The whole thing has a middle school mafia vibe to it. Cute.
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