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From the Blog: Jackson Greene has worked diligently for the past four
months to rehabilitate his reputation after the Kelsey Job - or the Mid
Day PDA as everyone else at Maplewood Middle School likes to call it.
Getting caught kissing Katie Accord outside Principal
Kelsey's office was never part of the plan and Jackson is usually an
excellent planner (Rule #1: No matter how simple a job looks, always
plan before you act). That particular job was supposed to go
differently. It wasn't supposed to alienate his best friend Gaby de la
Cruz. And it definitely wasn't supposed to end with him losing cell
phone privileges and having weekly
meetings interrogations with the principal. Jackson, understandably, isn't keen to plan any more cons. He's retired.
Then Jackson discovers that Keith Sinclair is running against Gaby for student council president. Keith's idea of student governing is to funnel the budget according to his own interests, effectively shutting down Botany Club, Tech Club, Chess Team, Art Geeks, the school newspaper. Besides, the deadline for applicants has passed, so why exactly is Dr. Kelsey willing to bend the rules on Keith's behalf? Jackson - Botany Club member and basketball player - starts to gather a crew: Charlie (Gaby's twin brother and editor of the Maplewood Herald), Hashemi Larijani (member of the Tech Club and Star Trek fan), Bradley Boardman (Art Geek member and guidance office helper), Victor Cho (Chess Team member, with a surplus of cash), and Megan Feldman (Tech Club President, science whiz, Cheerleader, and Klingon speaker). With Jackson, always in his trademark red tie - skewed slightly to the left - at the helm, the crew has three weeks to pull off the greatest heist Maplewood Middle School has ever witnessed in order to ensure that the student council elections stay fair and honorable.
Teachers and Librarians, make sure to add Varian Johnson's fantastic new book to your libraries. It is a fast-paced adventure, perfect for middle-grade readers who like school stories, mysteries, and appreciate a touch of style. Jackson is smart, classy, and a fantastic new character. Here's hoping that The Great Greene Heist is just the beginning of Jackson's stories.
I was recently DELIGHTED to read Kate Messner's post about The Great Greene Heist last week entitled More Than Words: A Challenge for everyone who's been asking for more diversity in kids' books. She issues this call to action, "Speaking up is one great way to ask for change. But buying books may be an even better way." Her suggestion? Pre-order a copy of The Great Greene Heist from your local independent bookstore.