SLEIGHT OF HAND by Natasha Deen


Age Range: 10 - 18
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Javvan, an immigrant to Canada from India, only wanted to impress a girl, but her brother gets him arrested for stealing a car.

Javvan’s strict probation officer, Mary, insists he get a job, but with his arrest record, Javvan can’t find work. Mary steers him toward Kevin, owner of a construction company. Kevin seems like a good guy, but Javvan soon learns that along with his legal construction work, Kevin also steals from his clients—and promises to frame Javvan if he doesn’t go along with the scheme. Trapped, Javvan finally tells his little brother, Sammy. An enthusiastic would-be magician, Sammy comes up with a way for Javvan to get evidence against Kevin. But can Javvan learn the sleight of hand he’ll need in time? And if he pulls it off, whom can he trust to help him clear his name? Deen keeps her prose simple but the suspense clicking along in this brief novella. Javvan comes across as a nicely believable character, too flustered by his dilemma to think straight much of the time. She adds depth with Javvan’s family, as his dishonorable act has earned him extra opprobrium.

A brief but powerful look at a teen in trouble. (Fiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4598-1120-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015


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