________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 27. . . .March 20, 2015


Unleashed. (Swindle, Bk. 7).

Gordon Korman.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2015.
202 pp., hardcover, $18.99.
ISBN 978-0-545-70935-4.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

*** /4



The Man with the Plan was struck dumb, which did not happen very often. Mrs. Vader understood as well as anybody that her son and Griffin were hardly friends. On the other hand, what other explanation could there be for the five kids swarming on her property? She could not possibly know that her house was the object of a stakeout for a stolen Hover Handler.

Griffin finally found his voice. “Uh-is he home?” It wouldn’t be smart to express his honest opinion of Darren to the one person who probably liked the guy.

“Yes, we’re just about to have brunch,” Mrs. Vader replied. “Why don’t you kids join us? In fact, I insist.”


In this seventh book in the “Swindle” mystery series, Griffin Bing is under a lot of pressure. His whole middle school expects him to win the Invent-a-Palooza contest. “Griffin, we’re expecting you to put Cedarville on the map.” He’d like to win because his enemy, Darren Vader, has entered the competition, but it’s Griffin’s father who is the inventor in the family. When Griffin makes a vacuum with a quiet motor, the power goes off!

     Unlike some of the previous books in the series, the pets in this story play a minor role. Luthor, the Doberman, and Ferret Face, the ferret, inspire the two main inventions, and they help Griffin and his friends recover a contest entry that was stolen by the government. There is a new character in Unleashed, a paranoid man the friends have nicknamed “Heartless” because he declared their short-cut to school “private property”. When Griffin and his friends think he’s involved with the theft, they use their talents (acting, intelligence, and teamwork) to discover that Mr. Heartless makes a better friend than enemy. There is a small part of the story that touches on discrimination (Pitch, a female student, wants to play on the all-male wrestling team), but the boy versus girl attitude that develops in the school is resolved with apologies and renewed friendships. Readers new to the “Swindle” mysteries should know the books in this series can be read as standalones.


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.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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