From School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Thirteen-year-old Moxie was supposed to spend her last summer before high school exploring Boston with her friend Ollie. Her plans are ruined, though, when a mysterious stranger arrives at her door asking for her grandfather and threatening to harm her family if certain "items" are not returned to a dangerous criminal named Sully Cupcakes. Moxie soon learns that her grandfather, now dealing with Alzheimer's, was an accomplice to the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft, hiding the stolen artwork in locations around the city. Sully Cupcakes has demanded that the artwork be returned to him within two weeks, and Moxie and Ollie race to discover the hiding places and to prevent Cupcakes and his accomplices from gaining access to the priceless masterpieces. Although many of Moxie's stunts are far-fetched (breaking undetected into historical landmarks, arguing face-to-face with dangerous criminals, etc.), most readers will forgive this as they get caught up in the breathless thrill-ride. With the recent announcement that the FBI knows the identities of the Gardner art thieves and is continuing its search for the missing works, this title is especially relevant.-Sarah Reid, Broome County Public Library, Binghamton, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Readers will gladly suspend disbelief as two 14-year-olds scour Boston to find millions of dollars in stolen art with rather remarkable ease. Aptly nicknamed Moxie is a smart, spunky, street-savvy protagonist who is planning a memorable summer with her best friend Ollie before a visitor from her grandfather’s murky past changes everything. In his younger days, Grumps was involved with the Boston mob and was responsible for hiding the stolen art that Moxie has now been chosen to find. Grumps has Alzheimer’s but is cognizant enough to remember the details Moxie needs to solve the mystery. Plot and character drive this lively book. Teens will like Moxie and Ollie for their believable adolescent responses and admire them for their sophisticated Internet skills and geocaching expertise, both of which enable them to outsmart gangsters and the FBI. Fans of Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer (2004) will appreciate the similarities: using math to solve real-life dilemmas, depending on a best friend when times are rough, and learning that urban centers are rich in history, culture, and crime. Grades 5-8. --Amina Chaudhri