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Notorious

By: Gordon Korman

Keenan has lived all over the world but nowhere quite as strange as Centerlight Island, which is split between the United States and Canada. The only thing weirder than Centerlight itself is his neighbor Zarabeth, aka ZeeBee. ZeeBee is obsessed with the island’s history as a Prohibition-era smuggling route. She’s also convinced that her beloved dog, Barney, was murdered—something Keenan finds pretty hard to believe.

Just about everyone on Centerlight is a suspect, because everyone hated Barney, a huge dog—part mastiff, part rottweiler—notorious for terrorizing the community. Accompanied by a mild-mannered new dog who is practically Barney’s opposite, ZeeBee enlists Keenan’s help to solve the mystery. As Keenan and ZeeBee start to unravel the clues, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that dates back to Centerlight’s gangster past. The good news is that Keenan may have found the best friend he’s ever had. The bad news is that the stakes are sky-high.

ISBN: 9780062798862

JLG Release: Mar 2020


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Friendship , Middle schools , Schools , Buried treasure , Gangsters , Islands , U ,S ,-Canada border

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High Interest Middle Plus

Grades 5-8

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Keenan is a world traveler thanks to his mother, who teaches in international schools. He’s forced to recover from tuberculosis on sleepy Centerlight Island. Half of this odd town is in Canada, and the other half is in the United States. At first, his only friend is a Canadian girl named Zarabeth, or ZeeBee, who is convinced that Prohibition-era Keenan is a world traveler thanks to his mother, who teaches in international schools. He’s forced to recover from tuberculosis on sleepy Centerlight Island. Half of this odd town is in Canada, and the other half is in the United States. At first, his only friend is a Canadian girl named Zarabeth, or ZeeBee, who is convinced that Prohibition-era gangsters buried treasure somewhere on the island. ZeeBee also talks constantly about her deceased dog, Barney, a humongous mutt that terrorized the town and all its residents but died under mysterious circumstances that ZeeBee is determined to uncover. ZeeBee loved Barney despite all his flaws and sees her new dog, calm and obedient Barney Two, as a poor substitute. When Keenan starts school (on the American side), he makes multiple friends, but doesn’t connect with any of them like he does with ZeeBee. As Keenan and ZeeBee investigate the many residents of Centerlight who had reason to want Barney dead, they discover a deep kinship in each other that neither has experienced before. Chapters mostly alternate between Keenan’s and ZeeBee’s perspectives. Chapters narrated by the other residents of Centerlight move the narrative along, but the inclusion of adult-narrated chapters feels odd. Overall, however, the fast-moving, action-packed plot makes this a great choice for reluctant readers. While not as funny as many of Korman’s other titles, this is nevertheless a diverting read full of suspense and historical intrigue.

Book Details

ISBN

9780062798862

First Release

March 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 5; Points: 9;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 740L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Balzer + Bray

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Friendship, Middle schools, Schools, Buried treasure, Gangsters, Islands, U,S,-Canada border,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Humor; Mystery

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