Thursday, November 20, 2014


Gordon Korman
New York: Scholastic Books, 2014, Ages 9-13

The action-filled novel titled Jackpot, by Gordon Kormon is the 6th novel in the mystery series Swindle. A young and ambitious Griffin Bing, also formerly known as the “man with a plan” competes over a lottery ticket. His competitor, the new “man with a plan” Victor Pheonix, is the latest addition to the city, Cedarville. There is an unclaimed lottery ticket worth $30 million dollars that is lost and soon to be expired. Friends have to overcome emotional obstacles in this novel, all the time hoping to find the lottery ticket that is lost somewhere in Cedarville. Jackpot captures middle school friendship drama realistically.

This fictional novel reflects Korman’s style very well. It is mainly a narrative tale, as it is largely trying to tell a short story. Korman is also a very descriptive writer, especially when developing his characters throughout the novel. There is much dialogue, showing conversation among characters, to further their development. 

There are not many pictures throughout Jackpot. However, the book cover is something that can catch the younger student’s attention. Pointing his head through the dollar bill is a picture of Savannah’s dog, Luthor. Throughout the novel the protagonist, Griffin, feels a companionship with Luthor. Both of these characters have been sent away from their friends by Victor. The cover of the novel clearly suggests that it is a narrative that will have to do with currency.

I thought this was a great book by Gordon Korman! It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, with all of the action going on. I would say it was a page-turner, always getting me to want to know what happens next! I thought the novel was very action-packed, and I just wanted to know who had the lottery ticket! The book made me feel like I was in it because the characters were thoroughly developed. The shifting point of view and the foreshadowing captured my attention very well. There was much description and anticipation built up. I feel that Jackpot is meant for the younger middle school students, although I thoroughly enjoyed it as a college student. 

Reviewed by Olivia Webb 

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