Teen Caper Corner: Don’t Get Caught

BookendsDon't Get Caught by Kurt DinanLynn: Max should have known better than to ignore Heist Rule #24: Beware the Double Cross. But who could resist the invitation from the mysterious and legendary Chaos Club to meet at the water tower at 10? Max and the other students are wary, but they climb the water tower anyway, and, yes, it was a set-up. So begins one of the funniest books I’ve read in several years, Don’t Get Caught (2016) by Kurt Dinan.

The Chaos Club has underestimated its victims this time. Max is tired of being “Just Max,” and he turns his humiliated water tower companions into a force determined to take down the Chaos Club once and for all.  Game on!

A hilarious set of elaborate pranks ensues. As the competition escalates, Max begins to wonder where justice ends and revenge begins—and if it matters. No one else seems to worry if they’ve taken things too far, and Max likes the “Not Max” he has become. He has friends, respect, a social life, maybe even a girlfriend—all so much better than staying in and binge-watching caper movies. Then Max has to make a choice based on loyalty leaves him violating Heist Rule #1: Don’t Get Caught. Will the Water Tower 5 ever write their names on the wet cement of the Universe?

Kurt Dinan teaches high school English and clearly knows teenagers. His debut is laugh-out-loud funny, packed with sophomoric but authentic humor that begs to be shared. The jokes and surprise-packed plot will win legions of readers, but I’m happy to say this book also has brains and heart, as well as terrific characters. Teens, especially high school boys, are going to love this! Fans of Don Calame and David Lubar might tip a cow to get their hands on this winner.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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