Book - 2015 | First Canadian edition.
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A group of kids discover that their ideal crime-free community is connected to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins Publishers, [2015]
Edition: First Canadian edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781443428743
Branch Call Number: J KOR
Children's fiction - Series M PBK
Characteristics: 323 pages


From Library Staff

List - YRCA 2018
OranguTang Apr 12, 2017

The content was a little darker than I was expecting - this would be a great option for mature young kids. The twists in the story were not what I was expecting (and I won't spoil that!) but it also explores the grey area between truth and lies; good and evil, what happens when we find out the tr... Read More »

A group of kids discover that their ideal crime-free community is connected to some of the greatest criminal masterminds ever known.

Finalist for the John Spray Mystery Award.

From the critics

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Dec 13, 2017

This book is amazing. Not the normal gordon korman comedy but still great book. susppence is good and you never expect what happens.

Oct 02, 2017

Best book ever! Must read for fiction lovers and everyone!
Also read book 2 and book 3

Aug 08, 2017

This is a really good book! Probably one of my favorites, actually. The suspense was well spread throughout, and the plot is very creative. If you like suspenseful books packed with adventure, this is a book for you. 5/5 stars for me!

Aug 04, 2017

This is a good book that is interesting and fun.

Jul 14, 2017

Very good. I couldn't wait for the next book! This was a very well written, and thought out adventure. Full stars!

Mar 31, 2017

this book is very exciting, if you love adventure books, this it the go to book to read!

Dec 11, 2016

Really Amazing! No wonder one of the Langley Book of the Year :)

Aug 04, 2016

this book is so awesome it won the silver birch award

SPL_Childrens Jun 23, 2016

A review of this book can be found in the "Summary" section. The review was published in the Stratford Gazette in November 2015.

Mar 12, 2016

THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!! I really loved it.

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Age Suitability

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Mar 17, 2018

blue_zebu_115 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

violet_butterfly_7250 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Oct 02, 2017

tonyqu thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13

Jul 14, 2017

BudgiesNbooks thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

Jun 14, 2017

selenium_monkey_3 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

May 14, 2017

red_elk_39 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

May 19, 2016

violet_cat_5387 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 14

Feb 16, 2016

blue_bird_5597 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13


Add a Summary

Oct 02, 2017

13-year old Eli Frieden is involved in an accident at the edge of Serenity, New Mexico (which is claimed to be "perfect") and he gets sick. Soon his best friend Randy is sent away to boarding school away from Serenity. When Eli finds a note that Randy leaves, and he (and some friends he recruits) finds that nothing is like what is seems like in Serenity.
Recommended for 9-13 year old
P.S. I left out some pretty crucial parts of the book because I don't want to spoil it.

SPL_Childrens Jun 23, 2016

Serenity, New Mexico, is a peaceful, self-sufficient community. Its residents, young and old, practise the values that they have always been taught: honesty, kindness, peace, getting along with others, and non-violence. They believe that Serenity is the best community in the world – there is no crime, unemployment, poverty or homelessness - and they see little need to travel elsewhere.
However, all is not as it seems in “perfect” Serenity.
Eli Frieden, a 13-year-old resident, receives a note from a friend whose family has just been sent away from the community. “Protect yourself, Eli. There’s something screwy going on in that town.”
Shortly after that, a severe storm briefly affects the community’s Internet access. During that short interval, Eli retrieves some very disturbing online information about Serenity - information that isn’t usually available to the public. It appears that town has some very sinister secrets. In fact, Serenity is connected to some of the most heinous criminal masterminds ever known!
Eli is shocked and realizes that most of the residents – even his neighbours and possibly his own parents – can’t be trusted.
In their search for answers, Eli and his friends make some unthinkably grim discoveries.
At the end of this fast-paced story (which is narrated in alternating voices, including that of Eli), some unanswered questions remain. Masterminds is the first book in a new adventure / science fiction trilogy by Gordon Korman, author of a wide range of popular fiction for children. Readers will be keen to read the second installment!
** Recommended for ages 9 to 12 years.

cmlibrary_jcurrie Jan 25, 2016

Eli and his friends live in the small, perfect town of Serenity, New Mexico. The streets have names like Amity and Happiness. All the families have a beautiful green lawn, a big house, and a swimming pool. Life is perfect in Serenity, but boring. Then something happens that gets Eli’s best friend Randy kicked out of Serenity. He leaves clues and a note to warn Eli that something is not right in their perfect little town. Eli and his friends start to investigate and discover that everything they have been told about themselves, their town and their parents is not true.


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Violence: There is death, and violence. It isn’t described in great detail. May be frightening to younger children.


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