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Zach's Lie Paperback – April 28, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 6
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (April 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786814403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786814404
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Zach Granger has to tell many lies; for one, his name is really Jack Osborne, and for another his parents aren't divorced rather, his father, a pilot, is in prison for transporting drugs for a ruthless cartel. When his father agrees to cooperate with the DEA, his family goes into a witness protection program, with new names and a new home in Elko, Nev. Will they be safe from the cartel? Smith (Thunder Cave; Jaguar) paints a realistic picture of Zach's complicated emotions: he misses his father and his old life, he's nervous about making a mistake and he is uncomfortable lying, especially to his new girlfriend, Catalin. He also takes to his new surroundings, especially Catalin's grandfather's sheep camp in the mountains, and the friendly hotel that's home to Sam, the warm and wise custodian of Zach's school. Smith keeps the tensions high: readers will suspect right away that the detailed journals Zach keeps are going to lead to trouble, and will understand the hero's anxiety when lines from it begin to appear on his classroom's chalkboard. Drug lord Alonzo Aznar is a stereotypical bad guy (he has a ponytail, dresses all in black and "likes getting his hands dirty from time to time") and Sam's confession that he is a former KGB spy feels too convenient. But these are small caveats; readers are sure to be caught up in Zach's suspenseful adventure. Ages 10-14.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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, Inc.

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

More About the Author

NYT Bestselling author Roland Smith is a former Zoo Curator and Research Biologist. He has published more than twenty novels for young adults. He and his wife, Marie, who is also an author, live on a small farm near Portland, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

I think this is a good book to anyone who like action.
LStone
Once I started, I had to finish, it was better than the book I was reading.
blondie
If you enjoy suspenseful, realistic stories, this is a book for you.
Senior High

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shelley Burgess on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
For nine years I taught fourth grade and used literature circles for a portion of my reading program. Two years ago, when Scholastic offered this book as a literature circle set, I ordered one. My nine and ten year old students needed a little help understanding the flashback that takes place, but overall they just LOVED the book. This year I moved to seventh grade and decided to use it as a whole group read to start the year. While it is an easy read for 12 - 14 year olds, it was a book with which I could easily create a reading unit that would teach both my reading/writing frameworks and character education, and one that intrigued my students. Roland Smith does an excellent job at creating a plot that keeps children interested and wanting to read more. They are begging to read the sequel, "Jack's Run." I recommend this book for any upper elementary/middle school teacher to use to draw students in and hopefully gain an appreciation and love of reading. Thank you Roland Smith for such a GREAT READ!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Zach?s Lie was written by Roland Smith. It is a book about a family named the Osbornes. One night some men broke into their house. They tied them up and said that if they went to the police about this, than they would all be killed. The men were drug lords and were looking for Mr. Osborne. Mr. Osborne is a pilot who had secretly been flying drugs around for these men for years. To keep the Osbornes safe, the family is put into a witness protection program. Their names are changed to the Grangers and they are moved to Elko, Nevada. Zach Granger, whose name was changed from Jack, is the main character in the book. Out of his sister Wanda (previously Joanne), and his mother, Zach has the hardest time finding friends. He eventually becomes friends with Sam who is the school janitor. The next friend that Zach makes is Darrell. He often goes over to Darrell?s house to play videogames. Finally Zach gets a girlfriend named Catalin. Zach spends a lot of time with her, and goes with her to visit her grandfather in the mountains. Zach does have one enemy that lives in Elko. His name is Peter Short. Throughout the book, Sam helps Zach with any problem he has. He kind of becomes a second father to Zach, while his real dad is in jail. The end of this book is packed with excitement, including a secret that Sam reveals about his past. I enjoyed the book very much. I gave it an overall four stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
ZACH'S LIE

What would you do if somebody broke into your house and threatened to kill you? This is an investigation book that tells all about a kid's life that gets turned around when people break into his house for his dad.

This book title is Zach's Lie. The author is Rolan Smith. The genre: this book has action, adventure, and it also has investigation in it.

This extraordinary book takes place in Portland, Oregon the main characters are Zach, the janitor, his mom and dad and his best friend.

The plot is when Zach is trying to figure everything out why the bad guys are trying to kidnap him so he doesn't figure out what is going on.

What I liked about how the author wrote about the story is that she made it sound like something was bad every second which was cool and how she made it adventurous.

I think somebody that would like this book would be 9 year old and up I am "ten years old" and I loved this book.

I thought this book was great, awesome and just so amazing. I would love to read it again! I think it is better than a lot of books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Senior High on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend the book _Zach's Lie_ by Roland Smith. I enjoyed it very much. I enjoy suspenseful adventure books that have a sense of reality. This book shares the story or a young boy and his family's life, when their world is turned upside down. The author always keeps a surprise right around the corner, and the reader never knows if Zach's going to make it or ruin everything. The author also does a good job of making the reader feel for Zach. As I watched him try to start his life over, make new friends, and have a crush on a girl in his class; I could not help but feel as if I knew exactly what he was feeling.
If you enjoy suspenseful, realistic stories, this is a book for you. If you don't mind a sad book, you will enjoy the adventure Zach and his family encounter. After a life threatening encounter and a life changing realization, Zach, his mother, and his sister leave their father and their lives to start over. You follow Zach on his new adventures in his new life as he tries to cope with his situation. The book ends as if it was just beginning and leaves you wanting to read more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
"If you take the V out of lives what do you get?" Jack Osborne and his family never expected anything like this to happen. One night while sitting at home, three people wearing all black and ski masks came busting into their home. Since then, Jack and his family have been relocated with the witness protection program, and their lives have NEVER been the same! They don't even have the same names anymore. Zach Granger, the son, and main character in the story, is Jack's new life. In a new town, thousands of miles away from everything they have ever known, Zach will lead a life of mystery, secrets, love, and anger. But what happens when some "out-of-towners" start creeping about? Will Zach's lie be discovered?

Zach's Lie grabs you and doesn't let go until the very last word. While reading this book, I got in to the characters' lives, almost like I was part of the story. It's FILLED with anticipation and curiosity. I recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike. Zach's Lie is his life!

Peter N.

Des Plaines Illinois
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