This is one of the funniest middle grade novels I've read all year. 12 yr old Griff Carver is no ordinary seventh grader. He has been a member of school saftey patrol since he was six years old. Griff Carver is the first saftey patrol officer ever to be kicked out of school, while on the job.
"It wasn't ugly. At first blush, all you'd see is squeaky clean kids playing and killing time till the bell rings. Big lawn. Nice clothes. First-hand bikes. Right out of the school brochure. Maybe that's all you'd ever see. 'Cause you never wore a badge. Me? I carried that piece of tin for six years. Almost half my life. Started in first grade. Typical wet-behind-the-ears rookie. Made all the rookie mistakes. Thought I was God's gift to Safety Patrol. In retrospect, maybe I came on a little too strong. Like I was trying too hard. Like I could do it all myself. Maybe I was asking for it. Maybe not.
Griff's mother wants him to start fresh at Rampart Middle School, no safety patrol. He tries but it's in his blood. Delane, Rampart's safety patrol captain assigns the reckless Griff a partner. Thomas, the new partner is a straight by the book patrol officer. He has won a merit badge for almost everything.
Rampart's safety patrol team believe they have a tight lock on the hallways. Griff proves them wrong the first day on the job. There's something illegal going on and it leads back to Marcus, one of the most popular kid in school.
Krieg has written a great noir mystery for middle graders. There's Griff unwillingly being interviewed by his guidance counselor regrading a recent incident. It's being recorded and will be passed up the chain of command.
There's Griff the reckless, dot every i Thomas and there working relationship as partners. Can the captain be trusted?, and of course there's a girl. Verity runs the school newspapers, and is one of the few students unimpressed by Marcus.
I loved this debut and hope its the first of many. Krieg's writing and dialogue are spot on good. Griff Carver is one of my favorite male protagonist of the year. ages 10 up
Another great middle grade novel in this style is Big Splash by Ferraiolo