Hideout by Gordon Korman is the fifth and latest book in the super popular Swindle Series. Gordon Korman is one of my favorite authors and a very accomplished one, having over 75 titles to his name. In fact, the book Swindle was recently turned into a movie by Nickelodeon.
In Hideout, Korman continues the Swindle Series with another exciting adventure. In the first book, Griffin Bing and his friends confronted an unethical man they nickname “Swindle” who stole a $1.2 million baseball card from them.
After exposing Swindle and ruining his shop, they also take his guard dog, Luthor. Luthor is a vicious dog, but Griffin’s friend Savannah is practically an animal whisperer and becomes good friends with him.
Here is my video review
In this book, Swindle is back, and he wants to take possession of his dog. Of course, Savannah isn’t about to let that happen. During this book the kids are away for summer camp, and they have to coordinate an extremely complicated series of plans in order to keep Swindle’s hired goons from taking back the dog. Who better to coordinate it than Griffin Bing, the “Man with the Plan.”
Griffin and his friends are all stationed at three different summer camps. Swindle sends his goons after each one, and they have to hide the dog from both the attackers and the rest of the camp. The book is divided into three different sections or hideouts, each one during the time when Luthor is at their respective camp.
The book starts off with Luthor going with Griffin and Savannah to Camp Ebony Lake. After their location is compromised, they switch the dog off to Melissa and Logan. Melissa joined the group because of her impressive computer skills, and Logan because he’s a good actor.
They eventually hand Luthor to Pitch and Ben. Pitch is a great climber, and Ben is the small spaces guy and Griffin’s best friend. Each member of the gang has their own speciality which allows them to work well together as a team.
This is far from a serious book throughout. Although they are being chased by a criminal, they book is interspersed with the fun personalities of each of the characters and tons of humor. The ending, where Swindle and his goons confront Griffin and his gang, is a hilarious and captivating tale.
This is a very well written book and another great addition to the series. It’s hard to keep coming up with hit stand-alone books when you reach the fifth book in a series with the same characters. Korman manages to do it, however.
Honestly, though, I’m not too excited for the next book in the series, Jackpot. If I was Korman, I would end it right now, because I feel like it’s starting to get a little long in the tooth. How many times can you get excited reading about the same kids having some variation of basically the same adventure?
Still, that does not detract from the strength of this book. I’d highly recommend for preteens (around 9-12) to read it. Notice the excellent reviews on Amazon. There is literally not a single person who says they or their children did not like the book. Korman’s books are guaranteed to be kid pleasers, and this book is no exception.
Before reading this book, though, I’d recommend reading Swindle. Although it’s not necessary to understand and enjoy the story, it helps a lot to understand the conflict. Plus, Swindle is an amazing book.
Overall, there’s really not much criticism I can give this book. For the majority of his career, Gordon Korman was a writer of humorous books. It was only in the late 90’s that he switched over to reading action/adventure. I feel like now he’s managed to merge these two styles together to create a suspenseful but hilarious book. This is classic Korman at his best.