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Zoobreak (Swindle) Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There’s a great deal going on plotwise in this sequel to Swindle (2008), and that’s just how the legions of Korman fans like it. Once again, “The Man with the Plan” Griffin, animal expert Savannah and her Great Dane Luthor, and Everykid Ben join forces to solve a mystery. This time, they’re out to rescue Savannah’s pet monkey Cleo from an unethical zoo owner. When Cleo disappears from Savannah’s backyard and is later spotted on a school field trip to a decrepit floating zoo, madcap plans and adventures ensue: getting to and from the zoo in the middle of the night; distracting Klaus, the overzealous security guard; springing Cleo from her cage; and ultimately stashing more than 40 freed zoo animals in classmates’ houses without any parents noticing. Although often implausible, the action is fast and entertaining, with just the right amount of realistic drama to ring true. Korman knows his audience well, and readers will clamor for a third installment featuring these intrepid young crime solvers. Grades 4-7. --Diane Foote


Praise for the Swindle series:

"Goofball-funny and addictive." —Kirkus Reviews

"Pure fun from top to bottom." —School Library Journal

"Korman's fast moving, feel-good suspense novel will have middle schoolers, especially boys, turning the pages." —Voice of Youth Advocates


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Series: Swindle
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545124999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545124997
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gordon Korman has written more than fifty middle-grade and teen novels. Favorites include the New York Times #1 bestseller The 39 Clues: One False Note, The Juvie Three, Son of the Mob, Born to Rock, and Schooled. Though he didn't play football in high school, Gordon's been a lifelong fan and season ticket holder. He says, "I've always been fascinated by the 'culture of collision' in football and wanted to explore it-not just from the highlight films but from its darker side as well." Gordon lives with his family on Long Island, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The Zoobreak was entertaining and fun to read.
Michael Lattro
This is the best book I have ever read sad, happy, exciting I could read it one hundred more times!!
Patricia M
The second book has now been passed on to another grandson who I am also sharing the story with!
Beth Cutwright

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on October 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Eleven-year-old Griffin Bing is known throughout Cedarville, New York as "The Man with the Plan." Recently, he and his friends had gotten tangled up in a mess involving a stolen Babe Ruth baseball card. Since that crisis has been resolved safely, Griffin has been on the lookout for another adventure, and he doesn't have to look very far. His good pal, Savannah, to put it mildly, is an animal enthusiast: she loves every creature and can recite all sorts of information on just about every one. She even has her own pet capuchin monkey, but to her horror, he goes missing, breaking her heart.

Griffin and his best friend, Ben, help her search for her monkey, but the boys find nothing. It isn't until their class goes on a field trip to a visiting zoo on a boat that they make a horrific discovery --- the "All Aboard Animals" floating zoo has Savannah's monkey locked up in a horrible cage. And what makes it even worse is that the entire zoo is dirty, and the animals are skinny and obviously miserable. Savannah tries to get her monkey back, but the zoo's operator swears he is the legal owner. There's nothing Savannah, her parents, or her parents' lawyer can do.

But there is something Griffin and his friends can do --- Operation Zoobreak! Everyone on the team has a special talent, like Pitch and her climbing abilities, Logan with his acting skills, and Melissa, who knows everything about computers. A person by himself or herself is alone, but a group of friends working together can accomplish anything. The team gets started right away on their plan to sneak aboard the floating zoo and rescue the monkey. Of course, things never go completely according to plan, and at the last minute, Savannah decides they should save every creature in the zoo.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
this book is the sequel to swindle, it is about the same group of kids, this time it involves a monkey, a trained attack owl and a plan, Savannah Drysdales monkey, Cleopatra is kidnapped from her back yard with a banana and then at schoool they go on a field trip at schoool and they visit a floating zoo only to reveal that is an awful enviornment for the animals and worst of all a certain kidnapped monkey seems to be there, how will the team figure this one out?!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ANP on July 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked Swindle. The story was original and creative and it was beautifully written. But I have some problems with Zoobreak.

Savannah just gets more annoying as the story goes on. The whole plot is driven by the fact she must get her monkey back, which she probably shouldn't have had in the first place. Moreover, she just seems...whiny and desperate. I mean, really, would it be that bad if she never got Cleopatra back or if the other animals were rescued later on? In addition she didn't really think about what she was going to do with a zoo-full of animals until after she rescues them. In so many ways Savannah lacks judgement and common sense in this book.

Also, many of the characters in Zoobreak seem static. These static characters don't change, adapt, or develop.

The children in this book openly defy authorities and take matters into their own hands. Breaking into a zoo in real life could get you in serious trouble. Furthermore, a good friend doesn't ask you to do dangerous things or defy authority to rescue their pet. At the very least, none of the characters are good role models.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on December 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If it weren't for Savannah's capuchin monkey, Cleopatra, being stolen, none of this would have happened. But Cleo was stolen, and it did!

Griffin and his friends (if you've read SWINDLE by Mr. Korman, these are the same kids that managed to pull off the baseball card caper) are on a class field trip to the traveling exhibit All Aboard Animals. An old paddleboat has been converted into a traveling zoo. The kids are grossed out by the stench of the animals, and when Savannah finds Cleo in a cage marked Eleanor, she is absolutely livid. She demands her monkey back, but the zookeeper, Mr. Nastase, insists he bought her legally and has a bill of sale to prove it.

The kids, grumbling, leave the floating zoo, but Savannah is determined to get Cleo back. It's Griffin who comes up with the idea: Zoobreak. He assembles a team of friends, each with a specific job, and comes up with the plan.

The kids successfully (though with some hiccups in the execution) retrieve Cleo, along with all the other animals in the exhibit. If they had left the other animals, they'd have been home free. But Savannah can't stand the thought of leaving the rest of the animals in such squalid conditions.

Trying to conceal such exotic animals as a meerkat, loon, beaver and more create havoc in the kids' lives. They realize they have to get rid of the animals before they are found out. Their only option is to break the animals INTO another zoo.

If you think this is as crazy as it sounds, it is! The adventures Griffin and his friends get into are hysterical. The fact that the plans actually work are astounding. But of course, there are obstacles along the way, and it's navigating the obstacles that are the most fun.

This is the first story I've read by Mr. Korman, and after enjoying ZOOBREAK so much, I know I'll read more.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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