Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Korman, Gordon. 2008. SWINDLE. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439903448 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-7]

The Old Rockford house has been abandoned for years and is scheduled to be demolished tomorrow. Griffin Bing and his friends think the property is perfect for a skate park but city officials want to build a museum. In order to gain attention for the skate park idea, Griffin organizes a sleepover in the scary old house. No one pays any attention to the boys and while exploring the house, Griffin finds an old baseball card with a picture of Babe Ruth. Since his parents are having financial problems, Griffin takes the card to a local shop to sell it. The owner, S. Wendell Palomino, informs him that it is a reproduction and not worth very much. He offers Griffin $120 which the disappointed boy takes. Imagine the consternation when the nightly news reports that Palomino has made a marvelous discovery of a Babe Ruth baseball card worth one million dollars. Griffin devises a plan to get the card back and the result is a wonderfully novel filled with humor and adventure.

Korman’s books are kid pleasers and this one is no exception.

SWINDLE is the perfect read aloud for an elementary/early middle school classroom.

Use the book as an example of problem solving. Set up situations and have students come up with solutions or use Griffin Bing’s problem and have students brainstorm other ways of solving the problem.

Other books written by Gordon Korman:
NO MORE DEAD DOGS. ISBN 9780786816019
SCHOOLED. ISBN 9781423105169

By Jane Claes

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