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Heist Society Heist Society by Ally Carter

Kat wants out of the family business, but when the family business is, um, theft, that can be a little tricky. Especially after her father is threatened and she’s got to find a way to steal back the paintings that he allegedly stole. A fun, fast-paced and snappy read that takes you through art heists, museum security, double dealing, and across Europe. The mood reminded me of the movie How to Steal a Million – and I don’t think that Audrey Hepburn-ish cover is an accident. And fortunately for us, Carter set things up for the possibility of a sequel – the main plot is tied up but a few personal loose ends are left hanging – and hopefully she won’t let us down. Perfect for a quick summer read.

This fits nicely into that inbetween area between children’s fiction and young adult – the characters are in high school and do crazy things like organize art heists, but there’s no violence and the romance is minimal and discreet, so I’d definitely hand it to a middle schooler.

Source: public library (and yeah, I ordered a copy for my library because I have the power!)

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Peace, Locomotion Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

Woodson has a way of saying a lot in a few words, and she pulls it off again in this sequel to Locomotion (and thank goodness they’re giving her some better covers now!) While this one stands on its own, you get much more background and context if you read the first one – and why not, they’re both quick books. While the first one was written as a series of poems written by Lonnie, this one is composed of letters he writes to his little sister, who is living with a different foster family.

What stands out are the characters and their relationships with each other – Lonnie and his foster mother, his foster brothers (including one recently back from war), and his friends at school. They all feel like real people that you’ve glimpsed briefly but who you instantly know.

The book touches on a lot of “issues” without ever really being an issue-driven book. You’ve got the death of Lonnie’s parents, living in foster care, veterans coming back from war – but it’s still a book very much about the experience of being a kid.

While I usually like to spend more time with a book, read something where you spend more time with those characters, Woodson does what she does so well that I give in and go along for the ride.

Source: my public library

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May 2010

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