________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 31. . . .April 11, 2014


Jackpot. (Swindle, Bk. 6).

Gordon Korman.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2014.
200 pp., hardcover & EBK, $18.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-545-56146-4 (hc.), ISBN 978-0-545-63349-9 (EBK).

Subject Headings:
Lottery tickets-Juvenile fiction.
Inventions-Juvenile fiction.
Bullying-Juvenile fiction.
Friendship-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



Ben Slovak put the newspaper down on the cafeteria table. “You want to hear the kicker? They know the ticket was bought at the convenience store by the train station in Green Hollow. That’s the next town past Cedarville! My dad gets coffee there on his way to work.”

“Maybe you’re rich and you don’t even know it,” Griffin suggested.

“Fat chance.” Ben broke off a piece of turkey from his sandwich and held it inside his collar. A small, furry, needle-nosed snout came up and grabbed it- belonging to Ferret Face, the ferret Ben carried at all times under his shirt for medical purposes. “My father doesn’t believe in lotteries. He says it’s like flushing money down the toilet. The odds are astronomical.”

“It wasn’t astronomical for the guy with the right numbers,” Pitch Benson pointed out. “Man, thirty million bucks! I’d take my whole family to climb Mount Everest! The mountain permits alone are, like, a hundred grand each.”


There is a thirty million dollar lottery ticket lost somewhere in Cedarville, and Griffin Bing and his friends have less than three weeks to find it. They will not be looking for it together though because Victor Feeney, the new eighth grader in town, has come between Griffin and his friends. Darren Vader, the school bully, is to blame for this rift, but Victor cannot see it. He is so desperate to be accepted by Griffin’s friends that he resorts to lies and trickery to gain their trust. Jealousy and greed cause the teens to do things they normally wouldn’t do, but, by the end of the book, apologies are accepted and new friendships are formed. In this sixth book in the “Swindle Mystery” series, Griffin isn’t the only one making “plans.” Victor and Darren come up with some ideas of their own. When they all meet up at a frat house to question a ticket purchaser, many of the team members begin to realize it’s best if they can cooperate with one another. Not Darren though. He steals the ticket and tries to claim it as his own. Although Luther, the Doberman, doesn’t play a major role in this story, he does mirror many of the same feelings (jealousy, fear) that Griffin feels because of the new people (and cat) in their lives, and he helps Griffin get out of several problematic situations. The books in this series can be read as stand-alones or be used as a classroom read-aloud.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at 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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