Wednesday, August 3, 2011

THE ODD JOB SQUAD by Karl Fields

Life in middle school is fraught with stress and emotion, especially for those who become the target for taunts and practical jokes. That's where Ander and his friends Joe, Shooter, and Christian come in. They are not the ones responsible for the harassment; instead they vow to provide vengeance for those in need.

Shortly after Shooter became the victim of a vicious attack, Ander came up with the idea for a unique business opportunity. Anyone feeling the sting of bullying, teasing, or embarrassment at the hands of a nasty classmate could request help. If Ander and his friends deemed the situation a worthy cause, they would spring into action.

For example, when the Hennessey twins ruined Mitch and Chad's biology presentation by flushing the majority of their dragonfly specimens, Ander and the team retaliated. When it was the Hennessey's turn to present, their slide show had been mysteriously sabotaged.

THE ODD JOB SQUAD is filled with crazy schemes intended to bring justice for those less able to defend themselves. Three hard and fast rules prevent Ander and his friends from earning detentions, suspensions, or other punishments as they work to get even for their clients. They combine their talents for deception, computer hacking, and general creativeness as they plan their attacks. However, no scheme is perfect, and the opposition is not always predictable. The excitement in this fast-paced novel comes when the group's well-laid plans run into a snag or two.

Author Karl Fields has the middle school experience down pat, and by taking the side of the victim, he will have middle grade readers cheering. THE ODD JOB SQUAD is filled with useful lessons about dealing with the less fortunate moments in life, and it's humorous and entertaining as well.

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