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Fiction Ages 9-13
Pages: 176
Themes: Family, foster care, bank robbery
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/04/2009
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Nell has been in foster homes all her life—most of them have been horrible. She finally gets moved to a home she likes, and the ministry threatens to close it down unless an expensive renovation is made to the house. Nell and the two boys in the home, Billy and Tom, decide to raise the funds themselves. How do kids get large amounts of money quickly? By robbing banks, of course. Their first few heists are successful, but when they almost get caught on their sixth robbery, the friends start to fight about whether they should continue. The bank jobs that were meant to keep their family together just might tear it apart.

Ottawa Citizen - August 23, 2010
"The crime adventure component of the plot—written in spare, easily accessible prose, skilfully executed and paced—makes for an involving, suspenseful read, particularly for younger readers."
Washington State YA Review - May 1, 2010
"Fast-paced with growing tension which should appeal to reluctant readers."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group - July 21, 2009
"This straightforward choice for junior high readers has a good balance of action tempered with morality and the unusual addition of adults who really seem to know what is going on."
Booklist - May 15, 2009
"A satisfying moral tale...described in gripping detail. The effects of peer pressure and the desire to please those we love and admire are clearly illustrated. While not condoning robbery, Heneghan and Charles make valuable points about the importance of family, especially family of choice, in young people's lives."
Quill & Quire - May 1, 2009
"[Heneghan and Charles] do a good job of creating tension and keeping us wondering if (and when) something will go horribly wrong. The pacing is right and the details realistic enough to give the story plausibility."
CM Magazine - April 3, 2009
"[Heneghan and Charles] convincingly portray shockingly contemporary adolescent social behaviour while upholding the dominant moral position that such behaviour is problematic...Smoothly written, carefully paced, and convincingly plotted... Recommended."
Resource Links - April 1, 2009
"A concise and fast-paced novel ideal for reluctant readers."

Awards

CCBC Best Books starred selection  | 2010 | Commended
Chocolate Lily nominee  | 2011 | Runner-up
M.Y.R.C.A Honour Book  | 2011 | Commended

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