URBAN OUTLAWS for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

I was caught in the middle again. URBAN OUTLAWS has the unlikely premise of five 10-15 year-old orphans roaming the urban+outlaws+peter+jay+blackLondon underground, only surfacing every so often to right the world’s wrongs. The kid in me loved this adventurous story about a band of youngsters taking on some nasty characters. Technology is second hand to these kids and integrated into every one of their missions. They also treat their payoffs like Robin Hood – giving away much of what they steal to those in need.

But the adult in me kept wondering HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? Where’s the Amber Alert? Are there kids really hiding out under the streets of London? Isn’t there some responsible person who could take these children and put them into loving homes? We may need another telethon… All right… I’ve calmed down. It’s fiction.

Boys and girls wanting to escape into this underground world of bright kids saving the world and living a parent-less life will be grabbing this one off the shelves. It’s smart, fun, and one wild ride from beginning to end. Okay, not quite the end since this is the first in a series.

PUBLICATION DATE:2014   PAGE COUNT: 274

FULL PLOT (From Amazon):  Deep beneath the city live five extraordinary kids: world-famous hacker Jack, gadget geek Charlie, free runner Slink, communications chief Obi, and decoy expert Wren. Orphans bonded over their shared sense of justice, the kids have formed the Urban Outlaws, a group dedicated to outsmarting criminals and handing out their stolen money through Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.s).

But the kids find themselves in serious trouble when they’re caught in an epic battle to control Proteus, a genius super-computer. Proteus can crack any code in the world-and steal top-secret documents in nanoseconds. It’s down to the Urban Outlaws to use their guile, guts, and skill to destroy the computer, avert world domination . . . and stay alive.

FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT URBAN OUTLAWS by Peter Jay Black

  1. There’s a character for every reader. They each have their own unique personalities and skills.
  2. Although the end is a nice resolution to what happened in the story, the author was sure to leave us with a few questions to set up a sequel. It will leave middle graders begging for more.
  3. The random acts of kindness are the heart of the book. Made me smile at each life these kids changed.
  4. Gadgets aren’t something homeless kids usually have a lot of, but this group has a bunch. They had me wanting to try them out for myself.
  5. I’m always trying to get boys to read, and I have another weapon in that battle.

FAVORITE LINES:

Deafening shots rang out but it was too late – he leaped onto the ledge of the building and launched himself into nothing but open air.

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Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.

MMGM2

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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9 Responses to URBAN OUTLAWS for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. msyingling says:

    Well, it the middle grade characters aren’t orphans, they have really bad parents most of the time. I know that students want to read about empowered kids, but I think we could have a few more functional parents in MG lit! Well meaning but a bit vague, perhaps. I do think this one will be popular with fans of action and adventure books.

  2. Yes, sometimes we have to suspend our thinking on what would happen practically. This does sound like a good book for boys.

  3. swlothian says:

    Love the cover on this one (Pinned it). The book sounds great too. Thanks for discovering it, I’ll add it to my TBR list.

  4. Joanne Fritz says:

    I laughed out loud at this sentence: “We may need another telethon…” Sounds as if this will appeal to reluctant readers who crave a lot of action in their stories.

  5. Great review. Yes, I think kids will like this one a lot, but the parental point of view — not so much. Thanks for telling me about this one.

  6. I’m often caught in the middle with you Greg. Good thing I am able to still willingly suspend my disbelief! Thanks for bringing this one to my attention!

  7. Susan says:

    The random acts of kindness aspect has me intrigued, as well as the characters. I have a pet peeve that so many middle grade books feature orphans though.

  8. warrchick says:

    Oh, this sounds fun! And while most the time the adult in me would be helping you organize that telethon, just now something like this sounds like just the escape my inner kids needs. And, um, for purely research purposes I’ll have to read it. 😉

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