HOW TO ROB A BANK

9780008276508I handed my copy of HOW TO ROB A BANK to a twelve, almost thirteen, year old neighbor boy. His mom snatched it away and gave me a look like “Are you crazy?”

I assured her the first person narration was not by a Federal Prison inmate doing 40 years to life for choosing bank robbery as a career path. Instead the narration is from a 15-year-old British teen named Dylan. He has the same malady most teen boys have when their brain says, “This would be a good idea.” Their parents are more along the lines of “What were you thinking?”

What Dylan’s is thinking: He has to make things right for a house fire he may have caused. You see, the girl he idolizes happened to live there with her parents, at least until Dylan came for a visit.

You might be wondering why I’m featuring this book on ALWAYS in the MIDDLE. Isn’t this more of a YA type of book?

The MC’s age does fit into the YA mold, but this is one of the those stories appropriate down to about age 11 or 12. There’s no heavy language and only the lightest of innocent romance often seen in MG books. It also fills the need for those MG readers wanting to read about older characters without the loaded tendencies of YA.

Here’s the official synopsis:

When fifteen-year-old Dylan accidentally burns down the house of the girl he’s trying to impress, he feels that only a bold gesture can make it up to her. A gesture like robbing a bank to pay for her new home.

Only an unwanted Saturday job, a tyrannical bank manager, and his unfinished history homework lie between Dylan and the heist of century. And really, what’s the worst that could happen?

A funny, cinematic, ill-advised comedy-crime adventure perfect for gamers, heist movie fans, and anyone who loves a laugh.

The 45 chapters are short and keep the action moving. I found myself laughing out loud several times. Dylan references a handful of famous movies, copying what Eastwood, Clooney, and Pacino would do, but most of those titles probably wouldn’t be familiar to the average 12 year old (along with some of the British terms).

Dylan’s family include a Mom and Dad who are not divorced and an older sister who lends assistance to the robbery plan (Yea! The past three MG books I read all had families split up through death and divorce). The voice of a male teen is spot on here and his actions so misguided. But in the end Dylan will win you over.

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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to HOW TO ROB A BANK

  1. Bibi Belford says:

    Great review. I’m always hunting for books for those selective readers who want to read about teenagers!

  2. Danielle Hammelef says:

    This sounds fun to read! Loved the neighbor’s reaction.

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