Linnae's Reviews > The Big House

The Big House by Carolyn Coman
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Dec 16, 08

bookshelves: juvenile
Read in December, 2008

This was an odd one. It was well-written, and the children win out over the grownups in a way that is quite satisfying.

However, the whole premise of the book is that these children have grown up with parents who have several rackets going at any given time, for which they occasionally are thrown into jail. So when both mom and dad are sent up the river for embezzlement (guilty as charged), and the children are taken into custody by the woman bringing the charges, it's no big deal. They use the skills they've learned from mom and dad, and proceed to case the joint, collect evidence (that is, steal stuff), and try to prove mom and dad's innocence, or at least spring them.

Most juvenile literature has pretty clear-cut lines around good guys and bad guys. This one blurred those lines in a subtle way that I don't think most kids would pick up on, in the age group for which it was written. I could see it working as a young adult book, except that the protagonists are too young. Hmmm...just odd.
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