Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz247 pgs.
Target audience: Middle Reader
Middle school children Marco, Stephen and Sasha have been investigating minor transgressions since they were five – lost dogs, missing socks, stolen lunch money and the like. But ever since Marco came out, the new exchange student from England, Benji, has been the sole focus of the group’s attention. When Marco hears that Benji’s band will be playing the high school prom, he drags Stephen into an impossible scheme to crash the prom and confess his undying love for Benji on stage. The Prom Heist as Marco calls it, becomes so complex that it requires the involvement of four of Stephen’s five siblings, faked permission slips, fixing broken down buses and much more. While the kids are planning and organizing, hate crimes are popping up at schools in the area. For some reason, the hate crimes at their school are focused on gay bashing one person, Marco, who has been receiving threatening notes and found his locker smashed in. Nothing is resolved with this theme other than the school bully getting caught in the end by the kids and nothing definitive done by the school administration. The story is told from Stephen’s perspective revealing him to be a sweet boy and a bit of a pushover. The friendship between Marco and Stephen seems insincere because Stephen will stop at nothing to help his lovesick friend who in turn consistently treats him like his personal doormat. Marco does redeem himself barely, but not until the very end of the story. Looking at this book from a purely adventure and mystery stance, it will appeal to those who love crazy hijinks. Stephen and his siblings are wonderful characters who will touch your heart and make you laugh. (This book provided for review by Children's Lit - www.childrenslit.com)