Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Notorious” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.14  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Keenan has lived all over the world but nowhere quite as strange as Centerlight Island, which is split between the United States and Canada. The only thing weirder than Centerlight itself is his neighbor Zarabeth, aka ZeeBee.

ZeeBee is obsessed with the island’s history as a Prohibition-era smuggling route. She’s also convinced that her beloved dog, Barney, was murdered—
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Balzer + Bray
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Notorious
Melanie Dulaney
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Keenan and Zarabeth (ZeeBee) live in a unique town that straddles the border between Michigan and Canada. Keenan lives with his dad on the US side of the border as he recovers from tuberculosis contracted while living abroad with his mom and step-dad and ZeeBee lives with her parents on the Canadian side. The two team up to solve the mystery of a missing treasure buried by gangsters said to have lived in their town in the 1920s and 30s as well as figure out just how ZeeBee’s troublemaker, ...more
Violet Sinclair
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist, arc, mystery
DISCLAIMER: I received a digital review copy of NOTORIOUS via Edelweiss Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review

Gordon Korman has been a favorite author of mine since fourth grade. Everytime he releases a new book, I get very excited to read it. So, naturally, when I found out about NOTORIOUS, I was excited. And then when I got accepted for the arc, I was even more excited.

The plot itself was something that I hadn’t really heard of before, but was definitely classic Korman.

Overall, I
Heidi Burkhart
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have been a Korman fan for years. He just gets better and better. This story really appealed to me because the main character lived overseas in a number of places since his mom was an international school teacher. He moves back home after he contracts TB in order to rest and heal.

The town that he lives in is on the US/Canada border so that adds interest as well. A couple of dogs (one deceased) play into the story as well. The dog owner, a girl who lives on the Canadian side of town, befriends
Theresa Grissom
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 5th, 4th, 3rd
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book.

Loved this Gordon Korman book and I know the kids at school will too. Fun and refreshing, any fan of Korman will enjoy this mystery.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
Occasionally I like to read a book written for youngsters (8-12) to see what's being offered and this is a fine example of interesting reading full of real-life experiences in an interesting setting!
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the publisher and author for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

This MG book (grades 4-7) is set in a peculiar place named Centerlight Island. Half of the island is in the U.S. and half is in Canada. A squiggly line runs right through the downtown and across the island which means next door neighbors may actually be citizens of a different country! It also means the U.S. kids get to go to the island school and the Canadian kids have to ride a smelly ferry to their
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grades
A stand alone Korman.
Keenan is recovering from TB so is staying with his dad on a Centerlight Island - a quiet island literally on the US-Canada border. Half the island is in Canada; half the island is in the United States. All of the island has a notorious gangster history. He learns about this from the first person his age he meets - Zarabeth. She is completely engrossed in the island's history and still recovering from her dog's death. She draws Keenan in and shows him the island from her
Thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange network and HarperCollins/Balzar + Bray for the review copy of Notorious by Gordon Korman. All opinions are my own.

Keenan is used to traveling the world with his mom and stepdad, so he is not looking forward to living with his dad on Centerlight Island. Although, Centerlight turns out to be more interesting than he thought when a local girl nicknamed Zeebee tells him about the island’s history with notorious gangsters. Zeebee and Keenan work together to try to
Trisha Perry
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keenan has lived all over the world and Zeebee has never left the island except to go to school, but both are restless. Keenan is stuck at his dad's house on the island after a bout of TB and ZeeBee just wants a friend. This unlikely pair works out well until school starts and Keenan stays on the island with all the kids that have teased Zeebee because of her love of the islands notorious historic past. But how strong is their friendship and can it survive Keenan's new friends?

This is a
Lonna Pierce
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Keenan, recuperating from TB picked up on world travels with his mom & stepdad in foreign places like Lesotho and Shanghai, is living with his dad on unusual Centrelight Island, smack on the US-Canadian border. Since he is forced to recover his energy and stamina by sitting in his backyard, Zarabeth (Zeebee) and her little dog, Barney 2 are his only friends. She passes the time by telling him stories of the Prohibition Era gangsters who used the island as a base for their smuggling and the ...more
Pam  Page
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Korman will be excited to read this latest book of intrigue and will be kept hanging until the end to find out who is guilty of the crimes Zarabeth and Keenan attempt to solve throughout the story. A unique setting on an island that straddles the U.S./Canadian border adds interest to a place that had past mobsters living on the island. Loved the characters, especially Keenan who went from being an international traveler to living on a small island. There is a lot to explore outside of ...more
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fun little mystery on an island bordering USA and Canada, where a small town lives in the shadow of a monstrous dog that died months ago, and Zerebeth, the only person who loved the notorious beast. Sure, Keenan is technically the other protagonist, but anyone who thinks this book isn't about ZB's love for her demon mutt is kidding themselves.
Excellent family-friendly audiobook, one of Korman's best.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think that this book was very exciting. I like Gordon's writing style because every chapter the perspective goes back and forth from Keenan and Zeebee. The book was very suspenseful when I was trying to figure out who was watching them. If you liked this book I suggest "The Unteachables" by Gordon Korman or the "Masterminds" series.
LS Johnson
Another great Korman book. So if you like his style, you will like this book. The changing narrator voices can become overwhelming, but if I know that going in then I’m more prepared to read it. I felt like it took a while to get to the action part of the story. I will recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Korman books in the past.
Rachel Grover
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was fine. Parts of it dragged on a bit. While I usually recommend Korman's works to reluctant readers, I don't think this is one they would stick with - the pace is too slow. Will purchase for my MS library, but I don't see it flying off the shelf.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another good book by Gordon Korman. I do so enjoy them. I use to buy them for my classroom library and recommend them to students when we went to the school library. If I was still teaching I might be reading this one to my class. Adventure, friendship, and a dog does survive!
Lisa D
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! What a great mystery! Loved the characters! Makes you want to read more about prohibition since this novel takes place on an island with prohibition era history . One of my favorite writers! Love all his books!
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
So many great elements - navigating a complicated relationship (new friends/old friends), gangsters, an unsolved mystery, having two homes due to divorce, giving people a second chance and learning to be flexible. Oh and dogs!!! What's not to like?
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My students and I love Gordon Korman's work! This is a great suggestion for readers who enjoy the author's Swindle series.
Jan 30, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-new
Emily Smith
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
audiobook review and rating to come
Very fun. What a great mystery for kids. It has it all- gold, a treasure map, gangsters and murder! Very fast paced and sweet. I just love Gordon Korman.
Marney Hawes
Another good Korman story. Fun characters, a nice mystery, and of course a great dog.
Esther Keller
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Korman read. 90 books and he still has the ability to put humor, suspense, and a bit of sap in one title so we have a feel-good read.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to read this. I enjoyed this one
Angie Boyter
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
This was a delightful read! For an adult audience perhaps it was more of a 4-star read, because the plot was reasonably guessable, but I certainly would expect a younger audience to love it. I did!
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween
I enjoyed the setting in particular-half in my home state.

I liked the story being told by the different characters in alternating chapters.

A fun mystery.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could see my students liking this one quite a bit. Korman is a class favorite.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Clean Getaway
  • Diana: Princess of the Amazons
  • Dear Sweet Pea
  • Race to the Sun
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington
  • Allies
  • Chirp
  • Remarkables
  • Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation
  • A Lie for a Lie (All In, #1)
  • The Arabian Nights
  • Roll with It
  • Shine!
  • Zombie Island (Still Alive #2)
  • Zombie River Run: Still Alive Book Five
  • Zombies On A Plane: Still Alive Book Three
  • Harvest (Stories of Singularity #5)
  • Deception (Dark Matter #2)
See similar books…
Korman wrote his first book, "This Can't be Happening at Macdonald Hall", when he was 12 years old, for a coach who suddenly found himself teaching 7th grade English. He later took that episode and created a book out of it, as well, in "The Sixth Grade Nickname Game", wherein Mr. Huge was based on that 7th grade teacher.

Korman moved to New York City, where he studied film and film writing. While
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »