Hideout by Gordon Korman is the 5th and latest publication in the extremely well-known Swindle Series. Gordon Korman is perhaps my favorite author and a rather accomplished one, with over 75 titles to his name. In fact, his book Swindle was not too long ago turned into a movie by Nickelodeon.
In Hideout, Korman keeps the Swindle Series rolling with another enjoyable adventure. In the 1st book, Griffin Bing and his friends confronted an unethical guy they name “Swindle” who stole a baseball card worth $1.2 million from them.
After revealing Swindle and ruining his shop, they also come in possession of his guard dog, Luthor. Luthor is a vicious dog, but Griffin’s good friend Savannah is basically a dog whisperer and becomes close buddies with him.
In Hideout, Swindle is back again, and he wants to get Luthor back. Needless to say, Savannah is not about to let that happen. At the time of this adventure the gang is away for camp, and they have to coordinate an incredibly challenging series of plans in order to keep Swindle’s hired goons from taking back Luthor. There is no one better to organize it than Griffin Bing, the “Man with the Plan.”
Griffin and his buddies are all stationed at three different camps. Palomino sends his goons to all 3, and they have to conceal the mutt from not only the goons but also the rest of the camp. The novel is split up into three separate sections or hideouts, each one focused on in the period that Luthor is being housed at their respective summer camp.
Hideout begins with the mutt stowing away with Griffin and Savannah to their summer camp. Once their whereabouts is known to Swindle, they have to switch Luthor off to Melissa and Logan. Melissa became a member of Griffin’s gang because of her extremely impressive computer knowledge, and Logan because on account of his acting skills.
They eventually hand Luthor to Pitch and Ben. Pitch is a fantastic climber, and Ben is the small spaces guy and Griffin’s best friend. Every member of the gang has their own unique specialty that enables them to succeed well together as a team.
This book is riddled with tons of humor. Despite the fact that the group are being pursued by a criminal and his goons, this novel is constantly interspersed with the very fun personalities of each of the members of the group and tons of jokes. The ending, where Palomino and his hired goons go face to face with Griffin and his friends, is one of the best parts of the book and is filled with tons of humor.
This is an exceptionally well written story and yet another awesome addition for the Swindle Series. It can’t be easy to continue to come up with hit stand-alone books when you get to the fifth book in a series with the same characters. Korman is, amazingly, up to the challenge.
Truthfully, though, I’m not all that excited for the next book in this series, Jackpot. If I was in Korman’s position, I would stop this series at this point, due to the fact that I personally feel that the series is getting to be a little bit long in the tooth. How many times can you get excited reading about the same kids having a variation of basically the same adventure?
Nevertheless, that does little to detract from the strength of this novel. I’d strongly recommend for preteens (around 9-12) to read Hideout. Take a look at the remarkable reviews of this book on Amazon. There is literally not one person who says that they or their kids did not like hideout. Korman’s books are certain to be kid pleasers, and this story is no exception.
Before you read this book, though, I’d advise reading the original Swindle. Despite the fact it is not required to comprehend and appreciate the story, it does help a lot to understand the have an understanding of
history. Besides, Swindle is an awesome story.
By and large, there’s not really very much criticism I can give Hideout. For the majority of his writing days, Korman wrote comedy books. It was only in the late 90’s that he started writing action/adventure. I feel like now he’s managed to merge these two styles together to create a suspenseful but also hilarious book. Hideout is classic Korman at his finest.