HIVE: The Higher Institute for Villainous Education is a school designed to train brilliant children with a penchant for evil deeds into criminal masterminds.
Otto Malpense (love the name) is an orphan with a photographic memory and a talent for manipulating others into doing his bidding. He is kidnapped after a splendid stunt and finds himself one of the newest students at HIVE. Denied contact with the outside world and finding himself under the watchful eye of the school headmaster and the school's surveillance system, Otto plots his escape along with the help of three other students.
Consider this book Harry Potter meets James Bond. The school setting is fully stocked with spy film archetypes including a shark tank, dormant volcano, and special classes for henchmen.
I read HIVE with my after school book club and the book was universally enjoyed by all of the kids. Hogwarts may be the ideal school for those gifted truehearts, but the idea of a school, which cultivates the talents of evil geniuses, has a powerful allure for the preteens in my classes.