This debut novel cleverly sets a Raymond Chandler-style noir mystery in the treacherous hallways of secondary school. Matt Stevens, an average school boy with a glib tongue and a knack for solving crimes, narrates this story of how he got sucked into his school's 'organization', a mafia-like syndicate run by Vincent 'Mr. Biggs' Biggio, specializing in forged hall passes, test-copying rings, black market candy selling and taking out hits with water guns. In this high-pressure world, Matt must work to preserve his integrity, regain lost friendships and shed light on some mysterious incidents happening in school - all while avoiding being cast into the 'Outs', the kids who've been publicly and permanently humiliated by one of Vinny's Super Soaker-wielding henchmen.
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(210mm x 140mm x 30mm)
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Welcome to Franklin Middle School, where a junior gang of petty thieves and mobsters shakes kids down and humiliates them with water guns. Seventh-grader Matt Stevens, the class detective, is hired by fellow middle-schooler Vinny Biggs (something of a pint-sized Godfather) to recover a lost trinket from Nikki "Fingers," one of the fastest shots in school. Nikki has decided to go straight because her younger sister has entered the school. This knock-off noir kicks in when Nikki, about to hand over the charm to Matt, is "taken out" - soaked in a place to make it look like she's had an accident. This humiliation, a highly visible and common practice, immediately turns victims into social outcasts. Matt's detective instincts tell him that Vinny may have set him up, and he sets out to learn who was really behind this act. Matt 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. (Fiction. 9-11) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Jack D. Ferraiolo
Jack D. Ferraiolo is the writer, producer and director of the animated series 'WordGirl'. This is his first book. He lives with his wife and young daughter in Massachusetts, USA.