Tag Archives: thrillers

Next time, just run.

van gogh deceptionThere is a lot of running in this book, mostly from bad guys.  Throw in a little amnesia, a lot of police officers, art thieves, and the occasional tranquilizer gun, and you’ll be swept up in it.

“Art” is a boy found in the National Gallery with no memory of his parents or why he’s there.  Over the course of a few chapters, we realize he’s somehow connected to a thrill-seeking bad guy who’s set up a plan to create what might just be the biggest fraud in history.  Fortunately, Art comes across Camille and her mom, and eventually figures out why people are trying to kidnap him.  Whew!

Definitely a fun, fast ride, and there are all kinds of mentions of great art and artists to boot.

The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks

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When your parents are kind of homicidal


In this case, “kind of” is generous.  The parents and guardians of these five teenagers want them dead.  When the first attempt fails, managing only to bring the kids together and make them realize something nefarious is up, it’s on, baby.  The parents have a variety of reasons – fear that a child will die of a horrible disease, feeling like their child is becoming too independent, not liking their sexuality, money, just being a psychopath.  Ok, so it’s a little absurd, and there are moments when it’s all just a little too lucky or unlucky, even when you’ve given yourself over to it, but it’s fun in a dark and gripping kind of way.

My first thought after I finished it?  “Well, at least I’m not THAT bad at parenting.”  My son would never have recommended it to me otherwise, right?

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Masterminds and other suspenseful reads

masterminds Gordon Korman’s new book, Masterminds, is full of intrigue, suspense and danger.   Eli and his friends live in a perfect little town with perfect people who never seem to lie or cheat. It’s the best place to grow up until Eli’s bike ride at the edge of the city limits turns into something much bigger, complete with security forces descending from a helicopter, secrets overheard, and the feeling that everything they’ve always known might not be what it seems. This book is the beginning in a series, so the ending doesn’t really resolve anything. It just ends, leaving the biggest question still open – what will they do now?  However, like Korman’s other thriller series — Kidnapped, On the Run, Titanic, Everest, Dive – I expect this series will draw readers in for a happy thrill ride. Looking for other middle grade suspense or thrillers? Try these: Missing on Superstition Mountain, Elise Broach — The Barker brothers and their friend Delilah uncover dangerous mysteries while trying to figure out what’s really going on up on Superstition Mountain. The mysteries continue in Treasure on Superstition Mountain and Revenge of Superstition Mountain. Belly Up and Poached, Stuart Gibbs – Both follow the misadventures of Teddy at FunJungle, a zoo/theme park. They’re more funny than scary and share exciting chase scenes and elements of danger. Among the Hidden, Margaret Peterson Haddix — This dystopian series is a great introduction to the idea of worlds gone wrong. Haddix’s Found series is a nice follow-up once you’ve worked your way through the Among books. Abduction and Stolen Children, Peg Kehret — Peg Kehret is a favorite of many of the kids I see at school. She’s got great characters, action, suspense and provides a way to talk about a lot of larger issues, too. Navigating Early and Moon Over Manifest, Clare Vanderpool – Both connect characters in different times and places to a larger mystery in a way that’s challenging and satisfying at the same time.

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