4.4 22
by Jude Watson

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"LOOT hits the jackpot." -- Rick Riordan, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author

On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It's Alfie McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he's dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Alfie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: "Find jewels."

But March learns

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"LOOT hits the jackpot." -- Rick Riordan, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author

On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It's Alfie McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he's dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Alfie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: "Find jewels."

But March learns that his father is not talking about a stash of loot. He's talking about Jules, the twin sister March never knew he had. No sooner than the two find each other, they're picked up by the police and sent to the world's worst orphanage. It's not prison, but it feels like it.

March and Jules have no intention of staying put. They know their father's business inside and out, and they're tired of being pushed around. Just one good heist, and they'll live the life of riches and freedom most kids only dream about.

Watch out! There are wild kids on the loose and a crime spree coming . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/05/2014
Jewel theft has never been as fun as in 39 Clues contributor Watson’s action-packed novel featuring Mission: Impossible–style escapades from two young cat burglars. After world- famous jewel thief Alfie McQuin plunges to his death from an Amsterdam rooftop, his son March, a witness to the accident (or was it murder?), is shocked to learn he has a twin sister, Jules. The reason for the siblings’ separation at age two appears to involve seven missing and purportedly cursed moonstones. Led by clues left by their deceased father, the twins try to retrieve the moonstones for a $7 million reward, instead of entering the foster care system (“ knew where to go to buy a fake passport in five European capitals and he knew how much it cost. Things he didn’t know how to do: Sit in a classroom. Obey authority. Follow rules”). Along with two accomplices, March and Jules use trickery, aerial stunts, and quick thinking to complete their mission and stay ahead of professional thieves. The high level of suspense, ultra-short chapters, and fast pace will hook readers of all stripes. Ages 8–12. (July)
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Jan Chapman
Jude Watson, author of four books in the 39 Clues series, has crafted another highly enjoyable suspense thriller, perfect for middle-grade readers. March McQuin lives a peripatetic life as the son of a skillful cat burglar. One night, his father falls from a rooftop after a burglary and March witnesses his death. His father’s last words are, “Find jewels.” But March soon discovers that his father was not talking about gems, but giving him the name of his twin sister, Jules—a sister that March never knew existed. Although they are both picked up and sent to an orphanage, the twins escape with the help of some fellow inmates, and are soon bent on a scheme to steal a set of moonstones that are connected to the reason for their separation. The trouble is, the moonstones are cursed and the curse may lead to March and Jules losing their lives. A highly suspenseful plot drives this enjoyable and thrilling adventure that is sure to please middle-grade readers. Short chapters keep the action moving along quickly and the story is full of fascinating twists and turns. Although the plot is paramount, Watson does not neglect fleshing out the main characters of Jules and March, particularly in relation to how they feel about the disturbing revelation that they were deliberately kept apart by their father. Recommend this one to fans of the 39 Clues series or Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer (Scholastic, 2004/Voya December 2004). Reviewer: Jan Chapman; Ages 11 to 15.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
From Loot’s very first moments—the provocative dedication (“To bad children everywhere”) and haunting opening line (“No thief likes a full moon”)—readers know that they are in the hands of a brilliantly accomplished storyteller at the peak of her powers. Jude Watson ? author of four books in the “39 Clues” series as well as (under the alias Judy Blundell) the stunning National Book Award Winner What I Saw and How I Lied)—opens her un-put-down-able story with a prologue scene: three thieves have gotten away with the perfect heist of a cache of cursed jewels; the second thief then stumbles to death on rocks above an icy waterfall. A decade later, twelve-year-old March McQuin witnesses the death of the first thief, his own legendary cat-burglar father, after another tragic—but perhaps not accidental—fall following another jewel heist, this time in Amsterdam. His dying father manages to stammer parting instructions to his beloved son: “Find jewels.” What March does not yet know is that he has a long-lost twin sister, Jules, who is about to come back into his life as partner in desperation-driven crimes of their own. Watson’s narrative skill never falters: characterizations are rich and nuanced; plot twists are breathtaking but ultimately believable. She switches from pathos to humor and back again with complete mastery of the reader’s emotions. It is a joy to be in the company of an author who is just so darned good at what it is that authors do. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.; Ages 9 to 14.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-04-09
Feisty thieves-in-training Jules and March are faced with a daunting challenge after their father plunges to his death while committing a crime.The twins only gradually discover the full extent of the problem they face, but each new revelation fits perfectly into the often hair-raising narrative. First March finds out he has a twin sister, then that their mother died during the commission of a crime years ago, the theft of a set of valuable—but cursed—moonstones. The curse has come to rest on them, and it looks like it may be lethal by their 13th birthdays if they can't recover the full set of gems, each now belonging to a different owner and requiring another clever theft. Aided by oversized Darius and tiny Izzy, whom they meet in a nasty group home, they each bring different talents and ideas to the imaginative crimes. Driven by thrilling, nonstop action and featuring very brief chapters that readily sustain interest, this twisting and turning but ever-so-clever thriller is akin to the best of roller-coaster rides. Pitch-perfect characters, from scheming criminals to a twisted former cop to the twins' father, move in and out of the narrative, but it's the four young teens that drive the tale forward with enviable schemes and ingenious plans.Taut, engrossing and unstoppable. (Thriller. 10-14)
From the Publisher

Praise for LOOT:

"So many things I love about this book: Cursed jewels, a dangerous prophecy, a crash course in the history of thievery, acrobatics and grift . . . This is LOOT you can take to the bank. It's the perfect summer read for kids." -- Rick Riordan, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Percy Jackson series

"LOOT is one of those books that you'll want to devour in one sitting. Full of twists and turns and thrills aplenty, with the perfect mixture of humor throughout, this is a must-read. I really loved it." -- James Dashner, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER

"LOOT is pure delight -- a super-smart, funny, and exciting ride that I hoped would last forever. Full of wonderful characters and gratifying twists, this story is truly something special." -- Rebecca Stead, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author and Newbery Medalist for WHEN YOU REACH ME

"A nonstop thrill ride of cons, schemes, and near misses, with more twists than a pretzel factory. If middle grade heist counts as a genre, Jude Watson is the master." -- Gordon Korman, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of SWINDLE

"LOOT is proof that Jude Watson can do it all: an edge-of-your seat mystery that manages to be thrilling, funny, nail-biting, and full of real characters readers will care about. I loved it." -- Peter Lerangis, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of The Seven Wonders series

"LOOT is one of my favorite reads in a very long time! I could not put this book down!"
-- Jennifer A. Nielsen, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THE FALSE PRINCE

"LOOT breezes along in Jude Watson's trademark smart, snappy style, a sophisticated caper with a charming and unforgettable cast of characters." -- Natalie Standiford, author of THE SECRET TREE

"LOOT is fast, fun, and full of exciting twists -- like OCEANS 11 starring kids. Buried beneath the exciting heist adventure is a beautifully written story of love and resilience, but that just serves to deepen the surprises and suspense that will keep kids flipping pages long after lights out." -- Rachel Vail, author of UNFRIENDED

"Bursting with adventure, humor and heart, LOOT is an unputdownable treat. Just make sure to hide it somewhere genius when you're done, so no one tries to steal it." -- Sarah Mlynowski, bestselling author of the Whatever After series

"One deadly curse, four runaway kids and seven magical moonstones all add up to a page-turner full of action and heart. This is OCEAN'S ELEVEN for the middle grade reader." -- Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor author of HATTIE BIG SKY

* "Akin to the best of roller-coaster rides. . . . Taut, engrossing, and unstoppable." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

* "Jewel theft has never been as fun as in 39 Clues contributor Watson's action-packed novel featuring Mission: Impossible - style escapades. . . . The high level of suspense, ultra-short chapters, and fast pace will hook readers of all stripes.” -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

"Sassy narration, smart quips, pigeon drops, and slang worthy of an episode of DRAGNET make this fast-paced tale of topsy-turvy antics a joy from beginning to end. Don't try these high jinks at home…" -- BOOKLIST

"A richly entertaining romp." -- BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Twelve-year-old March McQuinn has lived a life that many kids can only dream about—world travel, no school, and exciting hijinks—but it comes at a cost. He has always felt as though something, or someone, was missing from his life. So when his father, the notorious jewel thief Alfie McQuinn, falls to his death during a burglary, March is left completely alone. That is, until he is reunited with his long-lost twin sister Jules, who has been traveling with their aunt's street performance group. Following a quick stint in a group home and armed only with street smarts and Alfie's clues, the twins and their friends set out to finish Alfie's last heist before Alfie's rivals do. With well-developed supporting characters and two likable protagonists, Watson has delivered an exciting, clever middle-grade mystery. Although her treatment of death and abandonment sometimes feel a bit too lighthearted, it is in keeping with the fanciful feel of the rest of the story. Throughout, the characters develop organically, and Watson doesn't shy away from real-world consequences. This helps give the book a real sense of urgency during each of the movie-quality action scenes, which makes it a perfect fit for fans of Stuart Gibbs's Belly Up (S. & S., 2011) or Gordon Korman's Swindle (Scholastic, 2009).—Amanda Augsburger, Moline Public Library, IL

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Loot 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
March McQuin was shocked. Right before his eyes, his own father had fallen off a roof, and was dying. Of course, some would say the man deserved it, as his dad was Alfie McQuin, infamous burglar, and March was his lesser known partner-in-crime. His dad handed him a strange stone, and gave him these final words – “Find jewels”. When March is at the airport being sent to an orphanage (his mother had passed away when he was young), he meets Jules McQuin (his long-lost sister that he didn’t know he had) who was going to the orphanage with him. They soon realize that the orphanage is not much better than a prison. At the orphanage they meet Darius and Izzy, who also hate the place, and they all break out. March realizes the stone his dad gave him as he was dying is much more than it seems and the jewels he told him to find was really Jules his sister. Soon the gang of kids find themselves not only evading the juvenile authorities but also going on a crime spree to “recover” more of the strange stones. The original owner (the one who March’s dad stole the stones from) offered the kids 7 million dollars for the return of all the stones. Sounds simple? Not really. The kids have to compete with an old associate of Alfie’s, a detective turned TV Show-Host, and time. The McQuins and friends have their work cut out for them. This. Was. An. AWESOME BOOK!!! Ms. Watson has written an amazing, thrilling, and completely action-packed book that kept me on the edge of my seat at all times. Gordon Korman (on the back of the book) wrote that is has “more twists than a pretzel factory” and he is totally right – in a good way! Ms. Watson has a way of drawing you in, and not letting you go until that final period. Just when I thought I had things figured out, the story took another turn. I loved that I never really knew who to trust in the plot. March is a great character and not even a bad guy (for the son of a thief). He hurts no one, and makes theft an art- form. The book is appropriate for all ages but the scene where Alfie dies may be a bit much for some young kids (nothing too graphic). The first ten pages of the story had me wondering. They were a bit slower than I am used to with Ms. Watson’s books, but then **BAM** she grabs you by the nose and doesn’t let it out of the book until the end. After I got done reading the book, I realized how much of the story was set up in those first ten pages. Ms. Watson is a masterful author. *NOTE* I got an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was immeadiately turned off by Loot's cover. I prefer the more subtle ones, however i started the book and couldnt let myself close it. Im a slow reader but i finished this one in a matter of hours. With a teaam of characters youre guarenteed to love, loot sucks you in and makes you guess at every twist and turn. It is hilarious and heartbreaking, with a mix of humor and friendship, loot needs no love stiry or cover to make it phenomenal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an action/adventure and some mystery. Twists and turns a- plenty. Keeps you guessing to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My soon to be 11 year old son enjoyed the book very much. He is an avid reader and claims it is now one of his favorite books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an interesting tale with a most enjoyable premis, although, the plot could have been a tad more well laid out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is just great because it is about friends that go on wonderful adventures together, and find some loot. ( also known as tresure or dimonds.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it so much great book. I this anyone with a good taste in books will enjoyed this great book LOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a very great book I recomend it to children 9-12
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is awesome
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She began to feel sliggtly uncomfortable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone in my class loves this book SUCH A GREAT BOOK!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Help how many pages be truth full i m a fast reader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago