Griffin Bing is on his way to a million dollars...until a mean collector named S. Wendell Palamino (a.k.a. Swindle) tricks him out of a rare Babe Ruth baseball card. Now Griffin must put together a team of friends (and one or two enemies) to get it back.
There are many things standing in their way--a menacing guard dog, a high-tech security system, a very secret hiding place, and the fact that none of them can drive. But Griffin is a Man With a Plan, and even if some things go way beyond his control, he's not going to let his fortune go without a fight.
Wow. I never expected to read an adventurous thieving caper that manages to teach that stealing is never okay without lessening the extremely entertaining story based on stealing. Is that a mouthful? Basically, Swindle is Ocean's Eleven with morals. The kids want to steal something, and justify to themselves why it's not wrong. I was worried throughout, because, well, no, stealing is still wrong. But by the end Korman had covered all his moral bases without once being unfunny or on a high horse.
Griffin and Ben are a great pair of friends. I liked how they were always there for each other, no matter how crazy the situation got. The other kids that helped out with the big break-in were well developed and pretty awesome. Logan the wannabe actor was my particular favorite.
The story moves quickly, and it builds into this ever more chaotic adventure that became really hilarious by the time everything started falling apart. Korman surprised me several times along the way, and I learned both how to break into a house and how stealing is wrong. Managing to pull off both those lessons means I give Swindle a
Five out of five rare trading cards.
Release Date: March 2008
Reading Level: Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: BLUESTEM