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THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF BERNETTA WALLFLOWER by Lisa Graff

THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF BERNETTA WALLFLOWER

By Lisa Graff

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-087593-0
Publisher: HarperCollins

Twelve-year-old Bernetta Wallflower loses her scholarship to the posh private school she attends after being framed for running a cheating ring. Worse, Bernetta’s so-called best friend Ashley set her up. Dreading the idea of attending public school, Bernetta believes she can earn $9,000—a year’s tuition—by summer’s end. With Bernetta’s magical aptitude (her father is an amateur magician) and new friend Gabe’s techniques, the two hatch a far-fetched plan to work as con artists. Within a few weeks Bernetta earns over $2,300. Then, the evil Ashley strikes again, causing Bernetta to lose it all. With Gabe’s help, the two mastermind an unbelievably outrageous scheme that will net the two more than $10,000. The story is lighthearted and Bernetta’s relationship with her family is strong and loving. The deconstruction of how a magician does his tricks is enlightening. However, Bernetta’s lack of remorse for her deceptive behavior will leave readers appreciating her predicament, but not her solution. (Fiction. 8-12)