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Snappy, pulp-inspired noir set in the mean hallways of middle school, from an exciting debut author.
The treacherous, hormone-soaked hallways of Franklin Middle School are the setting for this sharp, funny noir novel about tough guys and even tougher girls. âThe Frankâ is in the clutches of a crime syndicate run by seventh-grader Vinny âMr. Biggsâ Biggio, who deals in forged hall passes and black-market candy. Double-cross him and your number is punched by one of his deadly water-gun-toting assassins. One hit in the pants and you are in âthe Outsâ forever. Matt Stevens is a proud loner with his own code of justice. Heâs avoided being pulled into Vinnyâs organization until now: Mr. Biggs has offered him a job he canât resist, one that leads to the surprising downfall of Vinnyâs top assassin, the beautiful and deadly Nikki âFingersâ Finnegan, at the hands of an unknown assailant. Matt thinks he was used, and he becomes determined to find the trigger-guy or -girl, even if it means bringing down one of his oldest friends.
ÂNew talent Jack D. Ferraiolo revitalizes the noir novel while delivering a terrific, addictive mystery that crackles with wit and excitement.
âMove over Bogart; now there's hard-boiled private detective Matt Stevens on the job at Franklin Middle School ... You could call this genre kid noir.ââJudy Freeman, on the "Sure Shot Books for Boys" list on readkiddoread.com
âEntertaining and thrilling.â--The New York Times Sunday Book Review (full page review)
âA first novel with an ingenious premise: junior high noir â¦ Twists and curve balls keep readers guessing; extended jokes will keep them laughing. With crisp prose and surprisingly poignant moments, Ferraioloâs debut entertains on many levels.â --Publishers Weekly, starred review
âFerraiolo weaves a tale that is thought-provoking and rib-tickling all at the same time. Highly recommended.â--Library Media Connection starred review
âMatt Stevens may turn out to be a bankable franchise: His first-person present-tense narration carries in it echoes of Marlowe, and the simple plot makes some crafty twists and turns as it goes along.â--Kirkus
âFerraiolo cleverly interweaves Mafia undertones with Middle School social dynamics in this comical yet page turning novel. Â Young adult mystery enthusiasts will love the unmasking of this new sleuth in literature.â--ALAN
âFerraiolo has taken us down, in a manner of speaking. Good fun, and the comic-book style cover will attract readers.ââKLIATT reviews
âThis fabulous mystery will have teens racing to get to the last pageâ¦A great whodunit mystery lovers are sure to consume.ââVOYA
âThis debut novel delivers plenty of laughs â¦ Fans of private-eye spoofs will enjoy this entertaining read.ââBooklist
âWell paced, funny, and suspenseful, with some real commentary on bullying and mob mentality, this book will have fans eagerly awaiting the next installment in this faux noir detective series.ââSchool Library Journal
âFerraiolo shines in this debut novel, working the noir tropes for all theyâre worth â¦ The mystery itself is cagily constructed to keep readers guessing pretty much tilâ the last bell.ââBulletin for the Center of Childrenâs Books
âIf middle school has an âunderworld,â this book is The Godfather and The Maltese Falcon all rolled into one. Better still, itâs funny, and not just a little.ââGordon Korman, author of SCHOOL OF ROCK
F&P level: W
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