Code of Silence: Living a Lie Comes with a Price

336p. Zonderkidz. 2012. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-310-72653-1; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-310-72652-4.
Gr 6–8—A well-written and well-plotted tale about friendship, trust, and doing the right thing. When Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness the robbery and beating of a beloved diner owner, they flee the scene, Cooper with the diner's video surveillance in hand. One of the masked men sees him and orders him to surrender the hard drive containing footage of the holdup. In fear, Cooper begs his friends to keep quiet about the robbery. He is sure dirty cops are involved, while Hiro (a dead cop's daughter and a bit of a detective-in-training) suspects a local bully and his father. The trio is in a race to uncover the criminals before cagey Detective Hammer interrogates the entire eighth-grade class and fingers them as witnesses, putting them all at risk. Cooper is an adept liar who manages to evade the criminals and the police. Hiro, the group's conscience, struggles to remain silent, and Gordy just wants things to return to normal. Afraid to contact police, these three teens attempt to discover the criminals themselves at great personal risk. Suspenseful and with a heart-pounding conclusion, this crime drama is a great recommendation for fans of mysteries and thrillers.—Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ
When close friends Cooper, Hiroko, and Gordy accidentally witness a violent robbery, they make a pact to tell no one in order to protect themselves and their families. But as the police search for witnesses, the lies required to maintain their secret complicate their situation and strain their friendship. Although suspenseful at times, the story grows repetitive and overly didactic.

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