High Score by Destiny Howell

Published by Scholastic

Summary:  DJ’s trying to make a fresh start after transferring to a new middle school, but when his former best friend Conor shows up, he starts to slip back into his old ways.  In his first few days of school, Conor manages to antagonize Lucky, the kid who runs the school with his enormous stash of Starcade tickets, the middle school currency.  Lucky threatens to turn Conor into a social pariah unless he and DJ can come with 100,000 tickets in two weeks.  It’s an impossible task, but DJ and Conor have pulled off some pretty amazing feats in the past.  They need a team, though, and DJ recruits a couple of unlikely new friends with unique skills.  A huge Starcade birthday party, a nasty manager who’s a stickler for the rules, dumpsters full of tickets surrounded by a barbed wire fence…what could possibly go wrong?  297 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Fans of Gordon Korman and Varian Johnson will enjoy this funny, fast-paced story that features four interesting middle school characters outsmarting just about everyone as they pull off a magnificent stunt.

Cons:  Pay close attention or you may get confused by all the plot twists and turns.

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