Monday, March 5, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays: Zach's Lie

Shannon Whitney Messenger created Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays to bring attention to some fabulous books. I'm playing along this week! :)


Zach's Lie by Roland Smith

This is a great, contemporary, action-packed book. One night, people break into Zach's home, tie up him, his sister and his mom. The masked men have guns and knives. When the phone rings, Zach's mom is told to say, "They will kill us if you talk," or the sister will be killed. Hours later, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) comes to the house and takes away his dad's computer.

When his dad is charged with drug trafficking, the rest of Zach's family is sent into the witness protection program. I think the book takes a very realistic look at what goes through the head of a kid stuck in this situation. A lot of emotions pour through Zach: anger, guilt, hope, worry, excitement.

The kids in my class enjoy the 'what ifs' of the book. What if Zach messes up? What if Zach hates his new life? What if the drug dealers find them? What if...

When they're in the witness protection program, Zach's family is told they have to change their habits. If they always ordered pizza on Fridays, they can't do that anymore. What little habit would you miss most if you were forced into the program?

41 comments:

  1. Wow - sounds like a very gritty read! Yay! Thanks for the review and info to this harrowing book - poor Zach and family!

    I would miss my regular trips to get my Costa coffee!

    Take care
    x

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  2. This is for middle grade? Wow. I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction but this sounds particularly engaging.

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  3. Sounds scary for younger MG. Scary but a terrific read.

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  4. Old Kitty - thanks! I bet a lot of people would be missing coffee runs! :)

    Lynda - it really is - the kids always enjoy this book!

    Laura - parts of it are scary - which, of course, the kids love! :)

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  5. Wow! This sounds like a really unique story. And a scary one to have to live with. Thanks for sharing it.

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  6. Sounds like a great read! Thanks, lovely Jemi! Hope all's well with you. :)

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  7. Hey Jemi,
    Just wanted to stop by and say hi - I have been largely absent from blogging lately and am just getting my feet wet again. Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog the other day.
    Karen

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  8. Oh wow, sounds like a cool book!

    Hmm...maybe I wouldn't be able to do my usual walks then. Or hang out at the library like I do. That would stink.

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  9. Sounds like a great read, certainly something my son would love.

    I'd miss my daily walks with my dog in the woods behind our house.

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  10. Pizza on Friday--too and shopping on Saturday's with my daughter.

    T

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  11. Blogging for sure! I don't think I could do witness protection because they would make me give up my blogs and that just might kill me!

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  12. Thanks for sharing your review of this book.

    I don't have any set days for ordering pizza, but I guess I'd have to change the place I ordered from. I'd also have to find new grocery stores to shop at. Some of the cashiers know me where I shop now.

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  13. Sounds like an interesting and engaging story. Thanks Jemi!

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  14. Sounds good, my 'might have a look at that' list is getting longer by the minute...

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  15. I love middle grade books, and this one sounds like a good one, Jemi. I love action packed books in any genre.

    I've signed in again as a follower, because I think I've lost you! Now you should show up on my blogroll.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author of In the Mirror & Imprisoned

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  16. Natalie - it really is a good one - intense in some scenes!

    Talli - you're welcome. Other than a computer back in Repair Land, I'm good!

    Karen - you're very welcome. With my computer woes, I haven't been around much lately either!

    Jennifer - exactly - it would be so hard. It's the little things in the book that cause the problems!

    Barbara - those are exactly the kinds of things that have to change - and they would be so hard!!

    Teresa - that would be hard to change - it's those routines we love that we'd have to drop!

    Beth - I never even thought about the blogging part of it! That sould be soooooo hard!!!

    Susanne - me too! I was about 30 minutes late for my shopping routine the other week and the cashier commented on it!

    Nas - thanks! It really is an intriguing story!

    Cate - I know the feeling! There are so many great books - it's hard to keep up!

    Ann - some odd things have been going on with blogger lately! Glad you found me back! :)

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  17. Hi, Jemi! It's been a while since I've been by. This sounds like a very powerful book. I'm very interested to see how the author incorporated such an array of emotions like that!

    Happy Monday!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

    A to Z co-host
    #AtoZChallenge
    @AprilA2Z

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  18. I love realistic, gritty books. Thanks for sharing this.

    Since I'm a creature of habit, I don't know if I'd make it with the program. I would have to try hard to create new habits. I suppose it's doable.

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  19. That sounds like an amazing book! There are so many things I would miss if I were forced into a witness protection program, I can't pick just one. Just having to move away from our town and our family and friends here would be so hard.

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  20. Morning coffee with my Dear Hubby and snuggles with my littles before bed. I suppose those could stay the same!

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  21. Wow, this sounds definitely MARVELOUS! I'll have to check it out!

    Yes, I'd miss my routines -- grocery store on Mondays, taking my girls to ballet, nap times. :)

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  22. I've thought of this many times. I would miss being outside. I'm all over the place, so I would have to stay inside much of the time. That would be the hardest part.

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  23. Great review Jemi! Scary and thought provoking. Any book that makes kids question or think is a positive!

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  24. Elizabeth - so nice to see you! Smith does a great job of incorporating realistic emotions! :)

    Medeia - I suppose it's doable too - the alternative isn't good - but it would be so hard to change up those daily routines!

    Susan - it would be incredibly difficult! I can't even imagine what kinds of little difficulties would crop up every day!

    Cat - I think those could - especially as they're happening inside the house. I think it's more outside the house routines that would have to change!

    Amy - exactly - routines become so comfortable and pleasant. I know I'd miss mine a lot!

    Stephen - so true! Being tied so much to the house would be really tough!

    Ann - I agree! Making people think is so important. I love books that do that while entertaining at the same time! :)

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  25. Perfect timing with this. I need a good bait book for one of my boy reluctant readers. He'll flip for this. I'd go crazy if I couldn't go to the beach.

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  26. Wow. Sounds pretty heavy, but interesting. I couldn't imagine putting my kids through that! Yikes.

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  27. Leslie - I think he'll like it! And the beach is one thing I can do without - I burn in about 12 seconds! :)

    Lisa - Smith pulls it off so well - it's deep without being heavy if that makes sense. Hard to imagine really having to do that - awful!

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  28. It sounds like a needed book, but it sounds more YA than mg....(to me)

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  29. If they told me to give up my regular trips to the bookstore, I'd be at a loss!

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  30. Sharon - the themes sound that way, but the writing is definitely MG - and Smith treats it that way too. It's really well done.

    Beth - I know! That would be the pits. Although ereaders would make it easier!! :)

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  31. What a heavy book! That's a big change from the typical child moving book. Thanks for the info.

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  32. Theresa - you're welcome. I think I may have erred in my description - it's really not a heavy book even though it's on a heavy topic. There's lots of humour and some boy/girl stuff too. Smith does a great job :)

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  33. Whoa. That does sound like an action packed boook. And a unique one, haven't read that premise before. I could see how kids will be intrigued with this!
    Thanks for the heads up!

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  34. That sounds intense, but good. I have a "date" with my mom and two friends on Mondays that I would very much miss.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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  35. Kelly - you're very welcome. It really is a unique book - and there's at least one sequel too :)

    Shannon - those 'dates' are exactly the kinds of things I'd miss too. It's all about the people.

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  36. I love hearing about new books!

    Thanks, sweetpea!

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  37. Wendy - you're very welcome my dear! :)

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  38. Wow-was not familiar with this one. Thanks for featuring it. Will be sure to check it out!

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  39. Deb - I think you'll really enjoy it. There's a lot to like! :)

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