My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A completely unique and heartwarming middle school adventure story, GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they laugh and (almost) cry with Nicki…I mean, Charlotte.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this title – all opinions are my own.
Book Description (from Goodreads)
Nicki Demere is an orphan and a pickpocket. She also happens to be the U.S. Marshals’ best bet to keep a family alive. . . .
The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation’s most notorious criminals. After all, the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, and adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need.
Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she’ll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family’s security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past.
Jake Burt has taken the witness protection storyline that we have seen pretty regularly in adult fiction and television/movies and added a perfect twist for the early teen market. Take a child in the foster care system, add in organized crime, a new family, a new school, new friends, a taser gun, a superstar gamer best friend and a case of kleptomania and you have a story that is truly impossible not to fall in love with. Nicki…I mean, Charlotte, has a hardened view of the world due to her upbringing but presents herself as the 13-year-old we all wish we could have been. Above the ridiculous nature of middle school drama and able to see a bigger picture, she struggles with much deeper demons, but still can give her heart to her new family.
I read this story in less than a day as I raced to find out whether the Trevor family would be able to evade the criminals trying to find them, and was left with a deep sense of satisfaction but also a desire for a sequel so we can continue following the family’s journey.
Highly recommended for middle school libraries and classrooms, especially grades 7-9. It is appropriate for lower grades, but perhaps not as relatable. I pre-ordered a copy for my middle school library and am eager to share it with students.
I am passing this copy on to the Kid Lit Exchange network for further reviews.