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Zach's Lie (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Zach's Lie (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.5 62
by Roland Smith

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Jack Osborne's life changes forever the night men in masks break into his house, threaten Jack and his family, and ransack their home. Jack then discovers the reason these men have come into their lives-his father has been arrested for drug trafficking. Jack, his mother, and his sister are then forced to enter Witness Security Program. Jack becomes "Zach" and moves to


Jack Osborne's life changes forever the night men in masks break into his house, threaten Jack and his family, and ransack their home. Jack then discovers the reason these men have come into their lives-his father has been arrested for drug trafficking. Jack, his mother, and his sister are then forced to enter Witness Security Program. Jack becomes "Zach" and moves to Elko, Nevada, a town in the middle of nowhere. There he meets Sam, the strangest school custodian he has ever encountered, and Catalin, a girl who might make Zach's uprooting worth the trouble. But just as Zach finally begins to piece together a new life, he finds himself in danger again-and this time his actions could determine the fates of everyone he cares about.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Imagine leaving all your friends and possessions and starting life with a new identity. Jack Osbourne becomes Zach Granger when he, his mother and sister are relocated to Elko, Nevada, a small town in the middle of nowhere. Zach's dad has been arrested for drug trafficking and their lives have been threatened by evil men who mean business. If the family is safely ensconced in the witness protection program, the father agrees to turn states evidence. Just as Zach, his mother and sister become comfortable with the new situation, things begin to unravel. In order to adjust to his new identity and the lies that go with it, Zach writes about his past life in a journal. But someone steals it, leaving the entire family in peril. Many trials and tribulations of moving, making friends and adjusting to new surroundings have been addressed in this adventure, which will keep young readers enthralled. Interesting characters and a roller coaster ride to the finish make this a believable and entertaining story. 2001, Hyperion, . Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
How does a 7th-grader cope with two identity changes in just a few months without serious adjustment problems? Jack Osborne, alias Zach Granger, alias Mack Greene, manages to pull it off with a maturity that belies his years. On the day that three masked strangers invade the Osborne household and terrorize Jack, his sister Joanne, and their mother, Jack's life is changed forever. His father's involvement in drug smuggling in South America, a situation he later admits was the result of financial problems, has sent his family's life spinning out of control. The father is committed to the Federal Detention Center, and Jack, now Zach Granger, is forced to change his physical appearance, give up his friends, and begin a whole new life under the Federal Witness Protection Program. When Zach meets Sam Sebesta, the enigmatic custodian of his new school, he fears that Sam's interest in him might lead to an unwitting revelation about his past. As events unfold, and the criminals come closer to discovering the Grangers' true identity, Sam's intriguing past enables him to devise a rapid solution that saves the family from certain harm. A jealous schoolmate's theft of Zach's journal ultimately leads the drug criminals to the Grangers' new home. However, Sam rescues a single journal entry written by Zach's father, a discovery that becomes critical in the capture of the smuggling cartel. The timing of both incidents gives this novel a good measure of suspense, and the reader will be caught up in a vicarious fear for the family's safety. Because the criminal network is so vast, the Osborne family is forced to begin anew in yet another location. Zach, now Mack Greene, especially regrets leaving Catalin,the girl who has been his romantic interest, but this sacrifice pales in significance when his father is released from prison and rejoins the family for good. This high-interest novel has enough teen issues to satisfy even the most reluctant readers. The themes of trust and betrayal, family loyalty, loss, friendship and first romance will make it highly interesting to YAs. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Hyperion, 211p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Phyllis Lamontagne
Jack Osborne is oblivious to his father's secret life. On the surface, Neil Osborne appears to be a commercial airline pilot who owns his own plane and cargo business. One of his major clients, however, is a South American drug lord who uses the plane service to ship his drugs into the United States. Jack discovers all of this when his father suddenly is arrested and his family is placed in the witness security program. Jack becomes Zach Granger when he and his mother and sister are forced to move to an obscure Nevada town. Coming to terms with his manufactured identity, which includes colored contacts and a new middle school, is harder for Zach than for the rest of his family. The only thing that gives him peace is writing in his private journal. When that journal falls into the wrong hands, Zach has to figure out what to hide and who to trust, knowing that the wrong decision could cost his family members their lives. Although the plot unquestionably is riveting, Smith's third-person voice is a bit wooden and there are a few too many coincidences to make this story completely ring true. For example, Zach's new friend, the school custodian, is also a retired KGB spy, and the bad guys stalking Zach just happen to question the one kid at school who has it in for him. Having said that, booktalk this title to reluctant readers and watch them devour it in one sitting. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Hyperion/Disney, 240p, . Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Jennifer Hubert SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-In this contemporary suspense novel, Jack's father, a pilot, has been arrested for drug trafficking. When the cartel thugs come to their house to terrorize the teen, his mother, and his sister, they become candidates for the Witness Security Program and must change their identities. Although the family is told not to bring anything to Nevada that would link them to their former lives, Jack, now Zach, cannot leave his diary behind. With the villains searching for them, there can be no slipups, but the young protagonist soon learns that, in the small town of Elko, "Everyone knows Everything about Everybody." The diary and Zach's vulnerability are well-developed devices, but the plot soon becomes compromised by some unbelievable twists and turns. Zach is befriended by the school custodian, Sam, who acts as the principal's assistant, handling disciplinary cases with counseling and boxing therapy. Sam introduces Zach to the Basque people, sheep tenders in the hills outside town, who conveniently provide a hiding place for Zach when the bad guys arrive. In the biggest stretch of all, Sam outwits the thugs with talents he acquired as a KGB agent. Other details and characters merely set up the chain of events, which is unfortunate because individual chapters are often exciting, and there is a great potential to satisfy suspense fans.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The life Jack Osborne knew has just ended. One night the seventh-grader wakes up to find masked men ransacking his house; the next thing he knows, his father has been arrested for drug trafficking. When the accusations against his dad prove true, Jack, his sister Joanne, and his mother enter the FBI's witness protection program. They must leave everything behind and relocate to a small town in Nevada under an assumed identity. Each member of the family deals with this monumental upheaval in a different way. Jack's mother maintains calm composure, while 16-year-old Joanne sees the experience as an opportunity to hone her acting skills. Only Jack, who becomes Zach in his new life, has difficulty adjusting. The contrast between his wealthy former life and the tiny town they are hiding in is stark. He misses his friends, his school, and, above all, his father. Along with this story line, the author includes two interesting subplots. One involves the drug cartel his father was involved in: they have found the family and are preparing to have them killed to prevent Neil's testimony. A second, more richly drawn layer is the inclusion of a large community of Basque people who live nearby in the mountains, continuing their old-fashioned life as shepherds. Jack/Zach makes connections with them and they play a large part in the conclusion of the novel. An explosive but believable ending leaves a few loose ends, but feels satisfying. Jack/Zach is a complex character, struggling with all kinds of emotions about his new life circumstances while also trying to be a normal teenager. An intriguing idea, well-written, with many heart-stopping moments, this should appeal to a wide variety of readers.(Fiction. 12-14)

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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Zach's Lie 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
comets20 More than 1 year ago
Ever wonder what it would be like to be in the witness protection program? Well I did but I didn't actually want to be in it so I read a book about a kid who was. It starts off with Jack and his family sleeping. Suddenly, a man thrashed Jack's door open with as much force as a bear. The man grabbed Jack and brought him downstairs. There he found his mom and sister tied up on the couch with two other men standing over them. The men informed them that if they told anyone that the men were at the house to consider them dead. Jack loved superheroes so he depended on them to save him and so while sitting there he asked himself "Where was the caped cruiser when I needed him?" After they leave Jack called the police and they showed up immediately. The policemen told them that their dad was involved in drugs so because of that Jack must be put into the Witness Protection Program. Jack's dad is in jail so Jack can not see him because the bad men are looking for them and if they go see their dad, the men could find them and kill them. Towards the middle of the book, Jack, his mom, and his sister moved to a small town with very few people. Now Jack becomes Zack. He dyes his hair, puts colored contacts, in and dressed conservatively. He can start fresh. The first day of his new school he made one enemy (Peter). Peter was picking on a girl and Zack stepped in and punched Peter in the face. But even though Zack was sticking up for someone he still got in trouble. But the Janitor (Sam) calmed him down. He let Zack go into his office and hit a punching bag to let all his anger out. Now the girl he saved from peter started to like him. He spent a lot of time with her and they become boyfriend and girlfriend. Zack was finally fitting in and not thinking about his old life .He has lots of friends and was doing well in school. His life was going great . but the men found him. Zack knew that if they caught him they will do as they said and kill him. He did everything he can to keep them away but was not enough. Right when he is losing hope someone showed up to help him! Now they must find a way to catch the men and send them to jail, but will jail cells keep them from trying to kill Zack? Review I give this book 3 stars because it is full of action but it could be more detailed with better vocabulary. Some parts need to be cut out but over all it was pretty good. I recommend this book to 5-7th graders because it's an easy read. This book is for girls and boys because they both would like it.
LIlCowUno More than 1 year ago
Zach's lie is about a boy who gets put into the Witness Protection Program because of his father's decisions. The book starts off explaning the characters and their first conflict with the drug cartels men. The main character is Zack or Jack who is a young immature boy who throughout the story is just trying to do right and live with his condition. Joanne or Wanda is his siter she is a great singer who just wants to excell in life regardless of the situation. Mrs.Osborne is Zach and Wanda's mom she is great person who is just trying to keep her family together. Neil osborne is their dad as you can see the one who brought them into this mess. Later on in the book you will come to meet Sam who plays a big role in he story and also Catalin who later on becomes Zach's girlfriend. Lastly you will meet Alonzo who is the drug cartel's leader. The main conflict throughtout the book is character vs character because throughtout the book zach is mad at his parents and at the same time trying to stay away from the drug cartel. One of the events that made up the rising action in the book was when him and his family were awoken during night and held hostage in their house. Another part was after the men left and had threathned them the agents came and already knew what had happened. What I liked about the book was while reading it I didnt want to put it down I wanted to continue to read especially the part where they were at the hotel. Also when peter ended up getting conrtol of the zachs backpack i couldnt stop cause it made think what will happen. Lastly the bestpart was the end it had an ironic ending that really made the book complete. I would recommened this book from grades 5-9 because I liked the way the author put the story together and made it ironic and also because it gives an input on what the witness protection program is like.
GerardButlerLover More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Zach's lie is an action book with little romance. Jack's father helped in-port drugs into the country. Afterwards, the family's house is invaded by the people that his dad helped. Now, Zach and his family have new looks, new friends,and new lives. This book is reccomended for all ages. It was magnificent. The story by Roland Smith could not have been put together better. If you hav not read this book, you should.
Sara_Tops More than 1 year ago
In the book, Zachs Lie,  Jack and his family get ambushed by drug dealers and are forced to join the Witness Protection Program. They needed to leave his father and relocate to small town Elko, Nevada. Jack's family was forced to leave his father in jail for mettling with the drug dealers. They move to Elko, Nevada. Jack's sister, now Wanda, wants to be an actress. His mother, wants to open  a bookstore in their new town. Jack, now Zach, doesn't know exactly what he wants to do until he meets a beautiful girll named, Catalin. My favorite part of Zach's Lie was when the family runs to Elko, Nevada and they have the intense scenes. Especially when they had to sneak out  of the hotel room and they put a  decoy family come inside the room and pretend to be him to trick the crooks. I would recommend this book to whoever likes random cliff hangers and suspense. I wanted to keep reading after every chapter!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book zach's lie is about a family that gets caught up in some trouble and they have to restart there lives in a new city with new identity. they move to elko Nevada. Zach is upset but lives with it. he meets a nice girl at school. Zach and his new girl are now dating you could say. Zach gets into a fight at his new school. Zach starts to do work with the custodian at his school. Alonzo finds out where the Osbornes live now. they end up having to move again. Zach is a nice kid in the book his struggles are that he doesn't except everything that is going on. his sister is a couple of years older then him and deals with whats going on. there mom is really confused. there dad is in jail for most of the book. the setting takes place in the Osbornes house and in there new city. i really liked the story it had a lot of very important detail in it. i liked it because it keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. the story could be believable. the genre is i would say drama. the book is mainly about a family/father situation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Is Like A Really Good Book.. Even Though I Had To Read It For School. I Was Glad I Did. Really Good.. Jack's Run Was Also Really Good (Second One)
da_kid More than 1 year ago
i would much rather read a book explaining h=gay pride over bravery... shut up and find something better
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Zach's Lie, a little boy named Jack Osburne has a pretty good life but his life falls to ruins when his dad,Mr.Osburne,starts to fly planes for the drug industry,out of the country. He then ends up in jail when the DEA,Drug Enforcement Agency,finds out what he is doing.This other guy named Alonzo threatens to kill Jack and his family so they go into the Witness Protection Program and they have to have all new lives.Jack 'who eventually changes his name to Zach' keeps this journal with all his memories of his past life.Eventually thats what gets his family into trouble.Will they end up killed? or have to move again? Read the book to find out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zach's Lie is an awesome book i couldn't put it down until i read the whole thing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zach's Lie is about a boy living the dream in california. Only to find that his dad helped the columbians ship some weed, and get caught by the DEA. Now the people that his dad shipped drugs for are after Jack and his family to make sure his dad doesn't tell the DEA anything. Soon the DEA puts them under the Witness Protection Program. As they lead their new lives in Elko they find that the past has a way of getting revenge. Zach's Lie by far one of the best books I have ever read. Althoguh the first few pages were slow, by page ten I couldn't put down the book. I recommend this book to everyone, because event though it's short read. It's tight Dawg.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zach's Lie is about a boy living the dream in california. Only to find that his dad helped the columbians ship some weed, and get caught by the DEA. Now the people that his dad shipped drugs are after Jack and his family to amke sure his dad doesn't tell the DEA anything. Soon the DEA puts them under the Witness Protection Program. As the ylead their new lives in Elko they find that the past has a way of getting revenge. Zach's Lie by far one of the best books I have ever read. ALthoguh the first few pages were slow, by page ten I couldn't put down the book. I recommend this book to everyone, because event though it's short read. It's tight Dawg.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a summer reading that I enjoyed. It is filled with many twists and turns. The end is the one of the most touching parts of the book. 'here is your co-piolet, Robert Green' Zach's love for Cat is fun and I find this a very good book, I recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zach's Lie was a really good book. Our teacher read it aloud and we are like really close to the end and it is awesome. I think you should all read this. It was a little rocky at the beginning but towards the middle and end it was incredible and one of the best book's I've ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like suspense and action and to get excited you will love this book that I am about to explain to you. My favorite book is Zach¿s Lie it is one of my favorites. The author is Roland Smith, the place of publication is Hyperion Books for Children and the date of publication is June 2003. It was a boy named Zach he was a normal boy but he was forced to keep a lot of secrets that he didn¿t want to keep. A boy this young should not have all this pressure on him. He should not be in this predicament. Zach¿s relatives are in a lot of trouble they are in trouble because of a lot of mistakes that they¿re father got into. Zach and his mom and sister are pushed away from there other family that they love, friends and there home. They were sworn not to tell anybody about who visits them and the reason why. It was hard for Zach to hold on to the secrets for the family but do you think he can do I know but you have to read to find out if he can do it or not. In this book you have to keep reading because some of the parts get boring. You have to keep it up do not put the book down. I didn¿t and it turned out great it was worth my time and hard work. The setting of this novel is very realistic. Things that happen in the book can happen in real life. That is why it is such a good book. I can relate to this novel because I¿ve been ask to keep a secret many of times with out tell a soul. I would love for this book to have a sequel or a part II I would definitely read it. I recommend this book to both boys and girls. For ages 15 to 17 and for people that like to be on the edge of there seats in the middle of a scene. What I like about this book is that you have to get really in to it to understand it because you can¿t read it every other day. I love the still of writing in this book and the book was very exciting to read. It gives me a good understanding of the plot and setting of this story. The author¿s voice seemed clam but when it got to the exciting stuff it got high pitched. This book is basically more suspense then anything and it has a good moral to the story. I feel that this story is to catch the reader¿s attention and does not give it back. My opinion to this story is to give the characters more explanations on how it got there in the first place. But if you want to know if Zach can hold on to all of his family secrets you are going to have to read the book on your own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
He was a normal boy forced to keep many secrets inside. Zach¿s family is in a lot of trouble. He is forced to hide many secrets that are hard to keep because of his fathers mistakes. Zach, his sister, and his mom are forced away from their loved ones and from their house and basically everything! Warned not to tell a soul about who visited them and why. But will Zach be able to keep the secret or will someone find out who he really is because of one stupid mistake? I liked this book a lot. There was page turning suspense and great detail. I could hardly ever put the book down at times. There were some parts that began to get a little boring but very few of them. I believe the setting of this novel is very realistic and is something that could happen today. Although I couldn¿t relate to this novel very often I would still love to read a sequel or follow-up. I recommend this book to people around the ages from twelve to fourteen. Both boys and girls, I believe, would enjoy this interesting novel. Some may even relate to this story. But remember don¿t tell your secret! I have yet to read another one of Roland Smiths novels but I have a feeling that all his books are probably just as interesting as this one was. The sequel to Zach¿s Lie is Jack¿s Run. I can hardly wait to read this one after reading Zach¿s Lie. This book isn¿t too difficult but isn¿t so easy that you read it in an hour. The first chapter of the book already was very good and reeled me in, the second chapter was even better! I love to read and even though you may not just give this book a chance. Trust me you won¿t regret it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zach's Lie is a great book. My language arts teacher recommended it for a book report, and I couldn't put it down until I was done! Roland Smith is an excellent author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
zach's lie was one of my favorite all-time books. It was scary, yet fascinating. in this book, a boy, jack, and his om and sister get put into the witness protection program because their dad is going to tell the government about a drug organization. the company finds them, and they are in big trouble. read the book to find out if they come out of it alive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok people need to back off ok? this book is soo good and the author he came to my school,Byron middle school on wed. and he was soo cool but he was a little fat just saying but this book was soo good it just had you at the edge of your seat like the whole time!! i can wait to read the second one!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is really cool! it has a lot of action! if you read the book you'll really be shoked to find out what sam,the custodian, really is! the parts with alonzo aznar are cool to! I recommend you read it!