Audience: Middle Grade
I'm working on making a world.
- first sentence
Nicki has been living in a foster center since her grandmother died. One day, the FBI suddenly shows up to ask for her help. They want her for a new program in witness protection called Project Family. The idea is to add a child to the family in WITSEC to make them harder to find. Nicki is to become Charlotte Trevor, part of a family that includes a father, mother, and younger brother. The mother testified against the members of her family who just so happen to be part of the Italian mob. Charlotte (Nicki) and the rest of the Trevor family need to play their roles perfectly so that the Cercatore family doesn't find them.
I listened to the audio version which I borrowed from my public library and the narrator did a fantastic job. She sounded exactly like a snarky teenage girl. Nicki (Charlotte) struggles with kleptomania and when she gets scared, she tends to steal things (her hands are very fast). Nicki is a clever, strong girl who knows how to take care of herself, but during the course of the book, she realizes how much she needs people to confide in. I knew the bad guys would eventually find them, and I had an idea of how Charlotte would stop them, but some of the details were a bit unexpected.
I think kids will enjoy this story and relate to the way the characters feel like they don't fit in. The Trevor family faces homework issues, bullying, sibling squabbles, and other typical situations that kids will understand. The story is engaging and Nicki (Charlotte) makes a great kid hero.
This book is nominated for a Sunshine State award for grades 6-8. I am trying to read as many as I can again this year.