My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Boarding School
Mattie Larimore used to be the good son-compared to his brother, Carter, at least. But that was before Mattie stole a train, got caught, and was sent to Munchem Academy, the world’s greatest reform school. Or is it? Because the kids at Munchem don’t seem very, well . . . reformed. Mostly, they seem terrifying, and the whole place is just a little off.
Mattie has to get out. Fast.
But it may not be fast enough. Headmaster Rooney is tired of dealing with problem students. His solution, however, may prove to be too radical. When Carter is suddenly next in line for Rooney’s master plan, Mattie and the renegade siblings, Eliot and Caroline, must band together to save him and the rest of Munchem’s students before all is lost.
Suddenly, Mattie-the good son-must find his inner hero and fight back. And that’s how the world’s greatest thief got his start.
I would LOVE to read a graphic novel version of this book.
Not that the story in this novel format isn’t good, but the settings are quite important in this book, and so, having them illustrated would only improve the reader’s experience.
I think I’m addicted to Disney novels. I keep reading them, whatever the genre or theme or subject or audience. The majority of them have that peculiar dream-related quality – either there’s a world you want to jump into or it’s told in an intriguing way that absolutely catches your attention and doesn’t want to let go – and this one is no exception.
Though, it’s not that original. Mattie isn’t a bad boy, but well, other people don’t agree, and so, he is sent to the place he least deserves to go, where he meets dangerous creatures… I mean boys! And that is the Munchem Academy, a reform-school.
I’ve seen this idea in many other books, whether it’s a reform-school for villains or fairytale characters gone bad or mean girls or antiheroes – they all have the same goal: take out the bad and leave the good. But what if the method they employ isn’t exactly conventional or ethical? Again, I’m sure a cartoon fan has seen this type of plot in a show. I, for one, can link this story to an Alex Rider book I’ve read a couple of years ago and even a Totally Spies episode.
But it’s still fun. Again, Disney, so the characters are charming, the vile situations are comic and the main character is a hero. Plus the narration reminded me of Lemony Snicket’s A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. Recommended. Have fun.
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