Davies (The Lemonade War) begins a new series with a dynamic novel featuring a pair of resourceful pranksters, sixth-graders Maggie and Lena. Maggie never knew her father, who died before she was born, but she has inherited his gift for hacking (“Hacking means pulling off a prank with style,” she explains) and uses his “Hacker’s Bible” as a guide. Once she joins forces with Dada-loving new student Lena, there’s no stopping the girls from livening up their dismal middle school with playful surprises for classmates, much to the principal’s dismay. After secretly selling Maggie’s grandfather’s old auto parts to fund their missions, the two create tiny explosions in the gym, hang banners in precarious places, and inflate a gigantic mouse on the football field. The story’s high entertainment value is balanced by more serious moments when the girls reflect on tricks that backfired or cope with family problems (Maggie’s mother develops a drinking problem; Lena wishes her artist mother was home more often). As Davies highlights individualism and friendship, she leaves the door wide open for future adventures at Odawahaka Middle School. Ages 8–12. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary.(Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2016 Release date: 11/01/2016 Genre: Children's
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