Lariviere, Sarah. The Bad Kid
September 6th 2016 by Simon & Schuster
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
For some reason, some of my students LOVE to read books about "bad kids". I've had a couple of books about children in juvenile detention centers that have been wildly popular.
This book ending up being a mystery. I have to say, it kept me reading, because I kept waiting for Claudeline to be BAD. She was a little obnoxious, to be sure, and the parts about her grandfather being a putative gangster were interesting. That's something my students used to ask for, when The Sopranos was on, but there weren't a whole lot of details about what the grandfather did (which might have appealed to students), and Claude's father was not emulating his father. This ended up being a very heavily atmospheric neighborhood story about Brooklyn, with the mystery of Alma Ligonberry thrown in. I liked Claude's friends Brett and Lala, and the fact that Claude had both parents. It read a bit like some Paula Danziger or other 1970s books set in New York City, where the city is a character as well. Just don't think it will resonate with my students, but take a look at it if you need a mystery!
"Claudeline Feng LeBernardin learns what it really means to be bad in this colorful and hilarious mystery reminiscent of Harriet the Spy.
Claudeline Feng LeBernardin is very good at being bad. Her Grandpa Si was a real-life gangster, and Claude always thought she’d take over the family business when he was gone. Instead, Claude’s dad is in charge—and she’s sure he’s running things into the ground. She wants to step in, but her parents are keeping secrets and her partner in crime, Fingerless Brett, is suddenly on the straight and narrow.
Then, when a very strange character by the name of Alma Lingonberry shows up in the neighborhood, Claude gets closer to the crime life than ever. Before long, she’s swept up in a maddening mystery that’s got her wondering: What does it really mean to be bad? "