________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 22. . . .February 11, 2011.



Gordon Korman.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2010.
234 pp., hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 978-0-545-17849-5.

Subject Headings:
Middle schools-Fiction.
Adventure and adventurers-Fiction.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



Griffin had just spent nearly twenty minutes rinsing the dental appliance under hot water. The last thing he was in the mood for was Darren's moronic sense of humor. But when he opened his mouth to fire off a retort, his retainer popped out again. He barely managed to catch it just before it hit the floor.

"Nice save," Darren sneered.

"Beat it, Vader."

"Dr. Egan told us to admire this ring and be inspired," said Darren, "and that's what I'm doing." "What a second-" Griffin's eyes narrowed. "You like him?'

"Best principal on Long Island," Darren affirmed.

Griffin scowled into the display case. "More like Dr. Evil.

"We lucked out when he got him," Darren said smugly. "I'm the only seventh grader who made the football team, and I'm going to dominate!"

Framed is the third book in the "Swindle" series, the other two being Swindle and Zoobreak. Twelve-year-old Griffin Bing and his five friends work together to fight for fairness, even if that means stealing a valuable baseball card or breaking into a zoo. Because of their past involvements, their reputation is tarnished, and no one, not the town's newspaper reporter, police officer, or school principal, will let them forget it. Although they have never been charged, that changes when Griffin is accused of swapping his retainer for the Super Bowl ring that was on display at school. After a preliminary hearing, Griffin is sent to "Jail for Kids." Since the kids don't do much schoolwork there, Griffin has time to devise a plan to clear his name. Operation Justice and Operation Stakeout have Griffin and his friends doing surveillance up trees and in woodpiles. Some are asked to go undercover to gather information, others to hide microphones and cameras around a suspect's house. With everyone's attention on the five possible suspects, the real robber has time to scurry away with more belongings from the school. To catch this thief, Griffin and his friends will need the help of Shank, the nastiest juvenile offender at Jail for Kids.

     Griffin is the main character in this book, but his best friend, Ben Slovak, will likely be the most memorable because of his trained ferret. However, all Griffin's friends are smart and loyal. They know how to use their talents (computer hacking, acting, climbing, communicating with animals) to help their friend. There was never a dull moment in this book, and, although some readers may guess who the real thief was before it's revealed, the way the story wraps up for all the different characters was well written. Griffin and Shank are able to thank each other, their friends and their families in thoughtful ways.

     Canadian born author Gordon Korman has written more than fifty books for children and young adults. His books include This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald High, Radio Fifth Grade, and the "Kidnapped" series. He lives in New York.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian with the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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