Eli Frieden lives in the most perfect town in the world: Serenity, New Mexico. In this idyllic place, every lawn is perfectly manicured and everyone has a pool and a treehouse. Honesty and integrity are valued above all else in Serenity. The thirty kids who live there never lie—they know it’s a short leap from lying to the awful problems of other less fortunate places.
Eli has never left Serenity. Why would he want to? Then one day he cycles to the city limits, and something so crazy and unexpected happens, it changes everything. Eli convinces his friends to help him investigate further, and soon it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in Serenity. The clues mount to reveal a shocking secret that connects their ideal, crime-free community to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known. The kids realize they can trust no one—least of all their own parents. So they hatch a plan for what could be the greatest breakout in history. But will they survive? And if they do, where will they go from there?
The first book in a thrilling new series from bestselling (non-criminal) mastermind Gordon Korman.
“A terrific page-turner, full of unexpected twists and revelations. Buckle up.” —JAMES PATTERSON, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL SERIES
“Just when you think no writer can outdo Gordon Korman, someone does—Gordon Korman. Masterminds is a masterpiece—a mind-bending adventure in a shocking but all-too-possible present; a tale of friendship and ultimate sacrifice with characters who will reach inside you and not let go. It’s that rare book that scares you to the core while you’re laughing your head off. Warning: reading this book while trying to do anything else is dangerous—it’s that good. I can’t wait to know what happens next.”—PETER LERANGIS, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE SEVEN WONDERS SERIES
Several teens learn that their idyllic small-town existence is a sham in this first entry in Korman's Masterminds series. Serenity, N.Mex., has the best standard of living in the country, with zero unemployment and total peace and prosperity. Thirteen-year-old Eli and his friends have never known anywhere else. Honesty, harmony, and contentment aren't just valued in Serenity, they're a way of life. Then Eli and the others start to notice odd things: when they try to leave town, they get sick; their Internet is remarkably sanitized compared to outside sites they accidentally come across; and some kids are considered special, while others are less so. After they discover the truth about why Serenity is so peaceful, they must face the fact that their lives have been ruled by a gigantic lie. Rotating among several young narrators, Korman builds tension as the mystery unfolds, leading to several surprise twists that upend the status quo. While an awful lot of dumb luck is involved in the kids' discoveries, this tense, fast-paced story will have readers racing toward the cliffhanger ending. Ages 8 12.
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Really good book!!!!!!