Book Review: Money Run by Jack Heath

Money RunMoney Run
Jack Heath
Scholastic Press, April 2013
ISBN 978-0-545-51266-4


This is a perfect book for the “reluctant reader”.  Packed with suspense and fast-paced, Money Run pulled me in immediately, and kept me turning pages very quickly. What else could you expect from a 25 year-old male author?  It is, quite frankly, badass.

Essentially, the book covers one day in the life of two master-mind criminals as they attempt to pull off the heist that could allow them to retire quite happily…….at the age of 15.  I admit, at a blush, the teen-aged girl pulling out MacGyver-type solutions seemed far-fetched.  Then I remembered two very important things.  One – today’s kids are smart.  When they set their minds on something, they tend to be very tenacious and creative, so okay, I can buy it.  Two – the target market is Middle-Schoolers, of course it works for them.

Ash and Benjamin have stealing down to an art.  One very cool twist, Ashley is the “front-man”.  That’s right—the girl is the action-adventure one on the team.  Benjamin is with her every step of the way, but virtually, not physically.  Attempting their most daring theft yet, robbing the illustrious Hammond Buckland, is challenging enough, but when Michael Peachey shows up, things get complicated in a hurry.

This is where Mr. Heath takes the book to another level.  Is Peachy here for the same job?  Not a deterrent, of course, but Ash would have to work faster. Feeling that her meeting with Mr. Buckland was quite peculiar, and curious about Peachey’s appearance, Ash faltered.  She needed to focus on the original job and figure out what Mr. Peachy had planned.  This begins an astounding game of cat-and-mouse.  It becomes obvious to Ash that someone is pulling the strings, but whom?  Why?

The ingenuity of the teens is impressive and compelling. The adventure was thrilling and suspenseful.  Trying to determine the real story for each character kept me hooked. The ending was pleasantly surprising without being predictable or too pat.

Money Run released this month—grab a copy for the “reluctant reader” in your world, or donate a copy to a local Middle School library.  You will not be sorry.  I promise.

Reviewed by jv poore, March 2013.