“If you think nothing can go wrong, you’d better think again.”
“LOOT hits the jackpot.” — Rick Riordan, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author
On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It’s Alfie McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he’s dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Alfie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: “Find jewels.”
But March learns that his father is not talking about a stash of loot. He’s talking about Jules, the twin sister March never knew he had. No sooner than the two find each other, they’re picked up by the police and sent to the world’s worst orphanage. It’s not prison, but it feels like it.
March and Jules have no intention of staying put. They know their father’s business inside and out, and they’re tired of being pushed around. Just one good heist, and they’ll live the life of riches and freedom most kids only dream about.
Watch out! There are wild kids on the loose and a crime spree coming . . .
Once in awhile I try to stash some middle grade book in my reading pile for the purpose of recommending new read for my ten year old nephew who loves to read books as much as I do. Actually, he is much better reader than I am, he’s just 10 years old and already read classics titles more than I have read. And every time I found myself enjoying books intended for younger readers, it reminds me how to be a kid and to enjoy simple things in my stories.
“No thief likes a full moon. Like mushrooms and owls, they do their best work in the dark.”
March McQuin is the son of the world’s most notorious jewel thief, Alfie McQuin. Being a son of a thief he is living his life on the run, traveling from different places, never attending school or having real friends to surround him. That’s his life until his father, Alfie McQuin died. His father’s last words “Find jewels.”
Turns out jewels is not a gem or any precious items Alfie wants him to steal. He got it wrong. Jules, not jewels is a twin sister he didn’t know he had. With no parents to take care of them, Jules & March are sent to an orphanage which is not much better than prison. There, they met Darius and Izzy who become an alliance in breaking out of the orphanage. Together they went finding clues and solving puzzles left by Alfie to execute an unfinished and possibly biggest heist.
“When you run a con, you don’t think about the odds. You think about details so you don’t mess up.”
For a short read, Loot is packed with lots of actions, adventures and schemes that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. With the bunch of kids that are clever and cunning, Loot provides a thrilling story of adventure and friendships.
March and his gang are brilliant characters you can’t help but root for despite of the illegal things they are doing. They are brave and talented kids who choose to remove themselves in a corrupt society like the foster home that was supposed to take care of them. Together they form an alliance to find seven gems that possibly cursed. Each schemes they pull are twisty and well plotted making the story engaging and fun.
Jude Watson did a terrific job in making March and the other characters realistic despite the little possibility of kids plotting heist as big as this one in real world. Her writing style is also top-notch! For a middle grade book, she successfully weaved an easy to read story for kids while plotting intricate crimes that even adults will enjoy. The writing is fast-paced with consistent sense of urgency leaving no room for dull and slow moments. Each happenings are essential to the plot and to the development of characters.
Overall, with quirky & smart characters Loot is a clever, creative fun read. Not only it will take you to a thrilling ride of adventure and non-stop action but will also reminds you the importance of family. Highly recommended for kids and kids at heart who love some adventures to their stories.
*This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Scholastic Press Philippines in exchange for an honest opinion.