________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 4. . . .September 27, 2013


Tampered. (Orca Currents).

Michele Martin Bossley.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2013.
130 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0356-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0357-2 (hc.) ISBN 978-1-4598-0358-9 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0359-6 (epub).

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14.

Review by B. MacDougall.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


Since I live in Calgary AB, “Tampered"s contents hit a resounding note as throughout the spring of 2010 fresh produce was tampered within numerous grocery stores. As a mother of two, I am happy to say that, while this book deals with a very serious topic, Michele Bossley made it not only an enjoyable read but an exciting one too! I got caught up in the adventure and very much appreciated the method in which the mystery was solved.

     Readers are introduced to Trevor, the main character, who has just landed his first job at Ashtons’ Fresh Marketplace.

“So, Trevor, do you think you can handle it?”

“Absolutely,” I said, pretending to be cool.

“Good.” My new boss clapped me on the shoulder and handed me a broom.

     With the help of his friends Nick and Robyn, Trevor tries to figure out who is messing with the food. Could it be Mattie fired in front of Trevor on his first shift for being continuously late? Or could it be his classmate Alex who loves playing practical jokes?

I sighed and reached for the bag Alex wanted. As I lifted it, a small black spider fell out, skittered across my wrist and landed somewhere in the rest of the grapes. I yelped.

“Holy crap, that’s a black widow!”

Nick and Robyn looked at me in horror, but Alex was fighting to keep his expression neutral. He snorted a few times, and when I gave him my best penetrating stare, he broke into helpless laughter.

“You noob!” I said in disgust. “It was fake, wasn’t it?”

Alex nodded, unable to speak. Finally, he said, “You should have seen your face, man. I knew Nick was getting grapes, so I couldn’t resist.”

     Readers, drawn into Trevor’s world as he seeks to unravel the wrongdoings, will have to read the book to find out to whom Trevor said the following:

“You could have killed somebody. A little girl almost drank a smoothie filled with rubber spider bits! Someone with a peanut allergy could have bought those cookies that you switched the labels on! What kind of a sick person puts a job ahead of a human life?”

     And the best part is that readers, after sitting on the edge of their seats wondering how everything is going to turn out; will still be left with a sense that’s all right with the world.

“Why do you have to keep getting into these situations?” my mother raged. “Why can’t you play video games like every other kid?”

     Tampered is a finely crafted story, one in which readers, along with Trevor, will overcome obstacles to find that truth and justice prevail. The novel’s a page turner, and I highly recommended to both school and public libraries for their teen collections.

Highly Recommended.

B. MacDougall is a junior/senior high teacher-librarian in the Canadian Foothills.

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

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