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|Cover artist||Jennifer Taylor|
Swindle is a 2008 children's novel by Gordon Korman. It is a caper story about the retrieval of a valuable baseball card. The book was the first of a series, followed by Zoobreak, Framed!, Showoff, Hideout , Jackpot, Unleashed, and Jingle.
A smart young boy named Griffin Bing decides to gather their entire grade in a sleepover protest in an old house about to be demolished after their plan for using a new space in their town was thrown out because of their youth. However, only Griffin and his best friend Ben Slovak show up.
Griffin discovers a Babe Ruth baseball card that, unbeknownst to him, is worth huge amounts of money. Excited that the card could help his family, which is struggling financially, Griffin takes it to the local collectibles dealer, S. Wendell Palomino. S. Wendell tells the boys that the card is an old counterfeit of a valuable one, worth only one hundred dollars. A dejected Griffin later chances upon Palomino on television, stating that the card he stole was worth at least a million dollars. Enraged, Griffin and Ben try to steal it back from Swindle's shop, only to find that it has gone, and they have to break into Swindle's house.
Now, in order to get the card back, Griffin must gather a team of local students with unique skills to break into Palomino's heavily guarded home to retrieve the card before the big auction where Swindle plans to sell the card. The team consists of seven people (including Ben and Griffin): Savannah the Dog whisperer, to get past Swindle's massive, violent Guard Dog Luthor; Logan the actor, to distract Swindle's eagle-eyed neighbor who spends his days watching the entire street's goings-on; Antonia "Pitch" Benson the "born to climb" girl, to scale the skylight in Swindle's house; Darren Vader who the others had no choice but to add to the team, for he threatened to rat them out (But Darren proved to be useful pulling people up the skylight); Melissa the unsociable computer genius, who was used to break into Swindle's UltraTech alarm system.
The tension is piled with an unexpected visit from the auctioneer, yet another even more menacing guard dog, and a betrayal from the person who begged to be in the group.