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Zoobreak (Swindle) Paperback – 1 Aug 2010
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About the Author
Gordon Korman is the author of The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and The 39 Clues Book #8: The Emperor's Code. Gordon has written more than sixty books for kids and young adults, including Zoobreak, Swindle, and Son of the Mob, as well as the On the Run series and the Island, Everest, Dive, and Kidnapped trilogies. A native of Ontario, Canada, Korman now lives with his family in Long Island, New York.
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Top Customer Reviews
Griffin and his friends (if you've read SWINDLE by Mr. Korman, these are the same kids that managed to pull off the baseball card caper) are on a class field trip to the traveling exhibit All Aboard Animals. An old paddleboat has been converted into a traveling zoo. The kids are grossed out by the stench of the animals, and when Savannah finds Cleo in a cage marked Eleanor, she is absolutely livid. She demands her monkey back, but the zookeeper, Mr. Nastase, insists he bought her legally and has a bill of sale to prove it.
The kids, grumbling, leave the floating zoo, but Savannah is determined to get Cleo back. It's Griffin who comes up with the idea: Zoobreak. He assembles a team of friends, each with a specific job, and comes up with the plan.
The kids successfully (though with some hiccups in the execution) retrieve Cleo, along with all the other animals in the exhibit. If they had left the other animals, they'd have been home free. But Savannah can't stand the thought of leaving the rest of the animals in such squalid conditions.
Trying to conceal such exotic animals as a meerkat, loon, beaver and more create havoc in the kids' lives. They realize they have to get rid of the animals before they are found out. Their only option is to break the animals INTO another zoo.
If you think this is as crazy as it sounds, it is! The adventures Griffin and his friends get into are hysterical. The fact that the plans actually work are astounding. But of course, there are obstacles along the way, and it's navigating the obstacles that are the most fun.
This is the first story I've read by Mr. Korman, and after enjoying ZOOBREAK so much, I know I'll read more.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Savannah just gets more annoying as the story goes on. The whole plot is driven by the fact she must get her monkey back, which she probably shouldn't have had in the first place. Moreover, she just seems...whiny and desperate. I mean, really, would it be that bad if she never got Cleopatra back or if the other animals were rescued later on? In addition she didn't really think about what she was going to do with a zoo-full of animals until after she rescues them. In so many ways Savannah lacks judgement and common sense in this book.
Also, many of the characters in Zoobreak seem static. These static characters don't change, adapt, or develop.
The children in this book openly defy authorities and take matters into their own hands. Breaking into a zoo in real life could get you in serious trouble. Furthermore, a good friend doesn't ask you to do dangerous things or defy authority to rescue their pet. At the very least, none of the characters are good role models.
The book was a very pleasant read and we learned several new words and shared several laughs as the story progressed and we saw how a mom reacted to the giant "rat" in her basement! It was an enjoyable pleasure to share this story with my grandson. I especially enjoy that he is beginning to enjoy his reading more and more and hope that he will love books as much as I do! The second book has now been passed on to another grandson who I am also sharing the story with!