Friday, May 4, 2012

Griff Carver, Hallway Patrol

Griff Carver, Hallway Patrol
Jim Krieg
Razorbill, 2010
$15.99, Hardcover
March 21st, 2012

Genre: Mystery, School Story, Crime
Age: 9+
Description: Griff Carver knows a thing or two about crime. So much so it got him kicked out of his old school. But it’s not what you think. Griff wasn’t a criminal—he’s on the good arm of the law. At his new school, Rampart Middle, he succumbs to his old ways by joining the Patrol Squad which is floundering. They are happy to have him—Griff Carver is a legend among hallway patrols. He can’t be bought, he can’t be frightened or intimidated. Griff uncovers a potential fake hall pass ring that leads to the current favorite candidate for school president—Marcus Volger—so Griff sets out to make sure justice is maintained. It results in him getting his badge revoked. Will his goody-goody partner Tommy and Verity, the top ace reporter, help Griff get the proof he needs to put the counterfeiter behind bars?
Opinion: This is an interesting book. I pictured something funnier yet it really seems like a police procedural/crime noir novel for tweens. Unfortunately, because it really invokes that feel I think a lot of what makes it funny will go over tween readers’ heads because I don’t know of many teens who read old-fashioned crime novels. A prime example of this is when Griff has to turn in his badge the scene really resembles many a scene in cop novels and movies when the cop has to give back his badge and his gun—in this case Griff returns his badge and hallway patrol sash. There is also a cute “I’m getting to old for this stuff” line which is a total nod to Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon franchise which will probably go over most readers’ heads. So this book is really a mix—it’s a clever play on the cop who will do anything to bust a crime by making that cop a seventh grader but it also backfires because, since most readers won’t recognize the noir motifs and elements, they won’t get the inside joke, will misunderstand the extremely adult attitudes and personality of Griff and his obsession with hallway patrol as a way of life. It is a great book but it will be a hard sell.

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