When I relate random things said or done by my kids, pets, library patrons, or strange people I meet, someone always asks me "When are you going to write a book?" The answer is the same for every mom - "In my spare time!"
Eli Frieden lives in the most perfect town in the world: Serenity, New Mexico. Honesty and integrity are valued above all else. The thirty kids who live there never lie—they know it’s a short leap from that to the awful problems of other, less fortunate places.
Eli has never left Serenity . . . why would he ever want to? Then one day, he bikes to the edge of the city limits and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything. Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking discovery, connecting their ideal crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one—least of all their own parents.
Sound a little like "Stepford Wives" for middle schoolers? Well...it is. And, somehow (maybe just because it's Gordon Korman), it works. No, the kids aren't cyborgs, but...well, I'm not going to give it away. And, while it is obvious to the reader on the outside (and eventually to the kids), that something is up, it takes a looooong time to get to what, exactly, that is. Fortunately, the road there is, as James Patterson says in the cover quote, a page turner, and the suspense doesn't let up for a second. In fact, librarians: as soon as kids get to the last page, they are going to be running up to your desk, asking for the sequel. Unfortunately, we all have to wait until February - and do NOT ruin the first book for yourself by reading the description of the second, major spoilers there.
Korman has not lost his humorous touch with the multitude of titles under his belt, and his ability to create believable, three-dimensional characters has only improved. I see this one having wide appeal among readers of any age, gender, or genre preference. Definitely one of this year's must-haves for middle school libraries in particular!