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4.5 26
by Jeffrey Salane

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The Lawless School provides the right education for kids on the wrong side of the law.

M Freeman has been homeschooled her entire life. So M has no idea just how unusual her education has been - not until she leaves home to attend the prestigious (and mysterious) Lawless School.

Suddenly, it's very clear to M that her tutors have been preparing her all along


The Lawless School provides the right education for kids on the wrong side of the law.

M Freeman has been homeschooled her entire life. So M has no idea just how unusual her education has been - not until she leaves home to attend the prestigious (and mysterious) Lawless School.

Suddenly, it's very clear to M that her tutors have been preparing her all along for a life of crime. She excels at escape tactics. She's a whiz at spotting forgeries. Her years of piano lessons pay off when picking pockets and cracking safes.

M's newfound talent for criminal mischief soon brings her to the attention of the Masters, the secretive school's most secretive clique. M's interest in the Masters is personal - joining this international dishonor society is her best chance to learn the truth about her father's life . . . and his death. But when her first real-world heist goes wrong, M is left wondering: Is there truly honor among thieves?

Jeffrey Salane's first novel is full of twists and turns, reveals and reversals. Spoiling the ending for your friends would be criminal!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carianne Johnson
Salane creates the mysterious world of The Lawless School and places a young teenage girl, M Freeman, in its center to figure out this community of criminals and her own purpose in life. Following in her master criminal father’s footsteps, M applies to the Lawless School, expecting to become a part of an elite group of young students; but as she soon discovers, the students at Lawless are all children of the world’s best criminals. As she succeeds in her studies and learns more about her father’s infamous reputation, M forms alliances. Her previously unknown talents in stealth and quick thinking give her the confidence to stand out among the rest and overcome her fears about living on the criminal side of the law. This novel follows a predictable sequence, with surprising twists along the way that add to M’s character development. The suspenseful backstory of M’s father adds to the plot and deepens the relationship that M develops with The Lawless School. This novel is expertly written for children who are looking to read between the lines to unravel the mysteries behind the gates of the Lawless School. Salane goes to great lengths to craft vivid images that make the events and setting seem realistic to readers, who will appreciate the evidence of Salane’s research on famous artworks playing a key role in M’s story. Reviewer: Carianne Johnson; Ages 10 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—The Lawless School is an ultrasecret training academy for budding master criminals. Twelve-year-old M Freeman, named for her late father, a criminal legend, is whisked off to the school in a private jet, with a crack team of Lawless's highly disciplined archenemies in hot pursuit. After settling in and establishing her reputation as a bold but untamed thief, M leads a class project that will serve as an audition for the Masters, an elite society founded by her father. Her team will steal a lesser-known Rembrandt painting from a London gallery. The story resonates strongly with echoes of the Harry Potter books, particularly the Snape backstory, and is sprinkled with allusions to a range of thrillers, notably The Da Vinci Code and the film The Thomas Crown Affair. Well researched, it even offers a fair amount of art history (some of it spurious), deftly woven into an elaborate plot tying together 17th-century physicist Christian Huygens and Georgian-era celebrity thief Jonathan Wild-not to mention a car chase, a kidnapping, a doomsday plot, highly sophisticated technologies, whipsawing betrayals, and a cascade of discomfiting revelations about M's parents. Despite occasionally clunky dialogue and a few more-than-ordinarily preposterous details in the plot, Lawless is fast moving and fun.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA
From the Publisher

Praise for LAWLESS:

An IRA-CBC Children's Choice 2014 Reading List selection

Finalist for the 2014 Children's Choice Book Awards

"Lawless is fast moving and fun." - SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"Readers will be caught up in M's training and adventures and will read late into the night to find out what happens next." - BOOKLIST

"Readers who enjoy action adventure stories will want to delve into this book." - LIBRARY MEDIA CONNECTION

Children's Literature - Heidi Quist
M begins the story getting exactly what she wants: acceptance to the prestigious though little-known Lawless School. However she soon wonders if this was really what she wanted. She continues at the school, because leaving would put her on a watch list for the rest of her life and it is her deceased father’s alma mater. M finds that using her intelligence in this “lawless” way is quite fun, and she even meets some new friends. Most significantly, though, she finds herself engaged in a mystery she believes has something to do with her father’s death. She’s eager to discover all of the mysteries enshrouded at the great school, but worries that her efforts will get her and her mother killed. Lawless is interesting from the very beginning, starting with the very curious interview that led to M’s acceptance into the school. Salane provides appropriately-timed hooks to keep readers engaged, wondering not just what will happen next but what they might do in the situations. Readers will want to continue the story with the sequel, Justice. First book in the “Lawless” series. Reviewer: Heidi Quist; Ages 10 to 14.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Lawless Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Salane grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, but moved north to study in Massachusetts and New York City. After spending many years playing in many bands, he now works as an editor and writer, and lives with his family in Brooklyn. He has never been convicted of a crime.

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Lawless 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lawless put me at the edge of my seat! I couldn't put it down. I was amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is beyond EPIC! J. Salane needs to write a second book and i mean NOW! Im in schoool. Wish i could go to hers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
M Freeman (M, just M) has been trained all of her life for Lawless School for criminals. She just doesn't know it. At her interview, M answers all of the questions perfectly. You're not supposed to answer all of the questions perfectly. Never in the history of Lawless School has anybody done perfect. M isn't a normal Lawless student. First, she recieves a code telling her not to trust somebody close to her. Shortly, she finds herself flying a plane even though her biggest fear is heughts. Then all of her things go missing, including her ticket to a mandatory assembly. She finds her way in, but she gets exactly what she doesn't want: attention. When classes start, she finds herself doing odd things like waking up in little nooks and crannies and destroying the school library. But an elite group called the Masters takes special interest in her, and M takes an interest in a painting. The Masters say she can pick one thing to steal and they will help her do it. She says she wants to steal the painting she's taken interest in: the Takeway Rembrant, a.k.a. Jacob de Gheyn the Third. On this mission, she finds out more about her father and why he died. Back at Lawless, she realizes her enemy is her friend, and whose side she really is on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good, and certainly exciting, but after a few chapters it got really confusing. The book gave me a god rush, and was very interesting, but it kept changing from one thing to another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeffrey Salane MUST right a 2nt book on M or my life will have no meaning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome its criminal And its criminal not to read ir
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, characters are extremely likeable. And hillarious!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There should a second book i read this 1and i loved it but was left at A BIG CLIFFHANGER i need to read it and this book is AWESOME for those who have their doubts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it write a second book I can't live without a second book but seriously make more than 2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it im on page 30 so good so far
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love every second of it! I just hope he writes another book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hated this stupid book so much that when i got a written copy i dipped it in gas and burned it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There us and its tottally epic i just got it and i couldnt put it down! Its called justice
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
What I Thought- This was a fun book. I liked the idea of a criminal school. This may sound kind of scary, but I would like to go there. It would be really cool. I am interested in criminology, and also activities like lock picking, pick-pocketing, etc. (Don’t ask why – I don’t know). Putting these skills to a use would be awesome (but for a good cause like counter-espionage or something like that – I digress…). M was a great character. She is everything I look for in a main character and Mr. Salane lets the reader really get into her head. Plus it was cool and mysterious how her name was only “M”. Her personality was well-developed. You feel like you really know M by the end of the book. I liked reading about her adventures in the school (and also outside of it). The book brings up incredibly strong self-provoking philosophical points – what is considered bad? -good? How far would you go on either way? I enjoyed reading this great debut every second. I read it in one day it was that good! *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was okay at the start but right away i was confuzzled( confused) and didnt know what was what. But otherqise it was a great book
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