Gordon Korman has been one of my favourite authors since I was a kid. I was hooked once I read the first escapades of his fantastic Bruno and Boots characters. Because he started writing at the age of 12, he has had plenty of time in his young life to come up with quite a catalogue of impressive books to his name. I read a bunch of his books when I was a kid and have now read the MacDonald Hall series with my kids. They are now fans too.
Masterminds is a book that Darcy picked up earlier this year and she loved it so much she insisted I read it. This was my first experience with his mystery/adventure writing, everything else I've read has fallen into the comedy genre, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
Masterminds is the story of a group of teens growing up in Serenity, New Mexico. Serenity is a small town which seems to be pretty perfect. There's no crime, no unemployment, no homelessness. It's so perfect that no one ever leaves. 13-year old Eli has never even left town for any reason. Why would he need to? Everything he needs is available to him. But being 13-year old boys, Eli and his best friend, Randy, decide to take their bikes for a ride outside the city to do some exploring. Once they hit the town lines Eli is hit with a terrible illness and finds himself at the centre of huge rescue operation by the town's top secret police force, and being ushered onto a helicopter, even though he has only gone as far as the town line. After he recovers from his illness he begins to think that things aren't quite as perfect as they seem in his little town and he and his friends set out to discover what is really going on. What they discover is more shocking than they ever imagined!
Although this book is geared to 9-12 year olds, I really loved it. It was a fun page turner. If you have a child in this age group, I would definitely recommend it, but you won't be sorry if you give it a quick read too. It won't take long. But be prepared! This is the first in a series so all of your questions won't be answered when you turn the last page.