Book Review! Loot: How to Steal A Fortune by Jude Watson

24 Jun

Many middle grade readers know Jude Watson from the 39 Clues books she’s written. I am a HUGE fan of the many Star Wars books she’s authored too. Ms. Watson has a distinctive writing style and is one of my favorite MG authors. When I saw she was writing a new MG book, I had to get my hands on it!

Today is the release day for the new book! WOO!

lootLoot: How to Steal A Fortune

By Jude Watson

266 pages – ages 8+

Published by Scholastic Press on June 24, 2014

March McQuin was shocked. Right before his eyes, his own father had fallen off a roof, and was dying. Of course, some would say the man deserved it, as his dad was Alfie McQuin, infamous burglar, and March was his lesser known partner-in-crime. His dad handed him a strange stone, and gave him these final words – “Find jewels”. When March is at the airport being sent to an orphanage (his mother had passed away when he was young), he meets Jules McQuin (his long-lost sister that he didn’t know he had) who was going to the orphanage with him. They soon realize that the orphanage is not much better than a prison. At the orphanage they meet Darius and Izzy, who also hate the place, and they all break out. March realizes the stone his dad gave him as he was dying is much more than it seems and the jewels he told him to find was really Jules his sister. Soon the gang of kids find themselves not only evading the juvenile authorities but also going on a crime spree to “recover” more of the strange stones. The original owner (the one who March’s dad stole the stones from) offered the kids 7 million dollars for the return of all the stones. Sounds simple? Not really. The kids have to compete with an old associate of Alfie’s, a detective turned TV Show-Host, and time.  The McQuins and friends have their work cut out for them.

This. Was. An. AWESOME BOOK!!! Ms. Watson has written an amazing, thrilling, and completely action-packed book that kept me on the edge of my seat at all times. Gordon Korman (on the back of the book) wrote that is has “more twists than a pretzel factory” and he is totally right – in a good way! Ms. Watson has a way of drawing you in, and not letting you go until that final period. Just when I thought I had things figured out, the story took another turn. I loved that I never really knew who to trust in the plot. March is a great character and not even a bad guy (for the son of a thief). He hurts no one, and makes theft an art- form. The book is appropriate for all ages but the scene where Alfie dies may be a bit much for some young kids (nothing too graphic). The first ten pages of the story had me wondering. They were a bit slower than I am used to with Ms. Watson’s books, but then **BAM** she grabs you by the nose and doesn’t let it out of the book until the end. After I got done reading the book, I realized how much of the story was set up in those first ten pages. Ms. Watson is a masterful author.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

66 Responses to “Book Review! Loot: How to Steal A Fortune by Jude Watson”

  1. julie rowan zoch June 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    How could I NOT want to read it after this glowing review?


    • thiskidreviewsbooks June 25, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      I think you would enjoy it! 😀


      • Anonymous November 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm #

        Do you know how many pages it is


      • ThisKidReviewsBooks November 20, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

        Last I checked, Loot was 266 pages. I hope this helps!


    • Lexi November 5, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

      Loot keeps you hanging by a thread wanted to grasp knowledge on what will happen when reading the book. What will happen next? You will not know until you have finished the last word. The book turns and twists one thing leading up to the next. Win it’s non-stop action, the plot of the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jude Watson, brilliant author, entertains you with the novel for it has more thrills than a roller coaster ride. Even though March and Jules are born theives, they may just take away you heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Genevieve Petrillo June 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    That book really DOES sound action-packed, E. Jules wasn’t the same as Jewels, just like me! Get it? Cupcake isn’t the same as cupcake.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake (the dog, not the dessert)


  3. readingwithrhythm June 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Well, I love pretzels! I’ll have to check this one out!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks June 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

      It is a brilliant book! 🙂


    • Taylor November 5, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

      Haha, but it is actually an amazing book. Check out *Lexi’s,* my comment.


      • Taylor November 5, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

        Never mind I deleted my other comments.
        But here….
        Loot is a highly improbable story, yet it is also believable and can happen under any circumstance although it probably won’t. Loot takes on characteristics of a thieving life of a young child, but even though he is born a thief, in the end he may STEAL your heart. Get it.. a thief, he steals.. steals your heart… But anyway, Loot was full of wonderful characters and gratifying twists which added to the mystery making the plot suspenseful. Jude has done a great job with this book and anyone who is smart will know that LOOT is number one.


      • thiskidreviewsbooks November 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

        Well said. 🙂


      • thiskidreviewsbooks November 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm #



    • Taylor November 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

      Enter your comment here…


  4. KidLitReviews June 25, 2014 at 3:00 am #

    “she grabs you by the nose and doesn’t let it out of the book until the end”

    Wow. I have not read any of Ms. Watson’s books but I will now. This sounds amazing. When you say you were on the edge of your seat I didn’t think much of it–you are on the edge of that chair more that anyone I know. But to be pulled by your nose and slammed into the book, having to wear that thing around house and town until the final twist freed you! Well, THAT made me realize this story just maybe, quite possibly, might be an okay book and I should read it.

    Thanks for the overly enthused review. I love those reviews from you. Nice job reeling us in. You are becoming quite the writer. Please enter me for the giveaway. What no giveaway of this book? Awwww! 🙂


  5. stanleyandkatrina June 25, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    Well, it is a shame you didn’t like this book. (sarcasm). Thanks for the first ten-page warning. Those pages sometimes are where Neighbor Girl loses interest in a book. Great review!
    ~Cool Mom


    • thiskidreviewsbooks June 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      OOOh!!! You have a Sarcasm key! Which key is it? Oh – wait – I found it! ~*~sarcasm~*~ 😉 I think you guys would like it! 🙂 Those ten-pages aren’t bad, they just made me unsure of the rest of the book.


  6. itsybitsymom June 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    My son always loves this author too (I had no idea she was a woman! Thanks! I am sure my son knew that but I did not!)


    • thiskidreviewsbooks June 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

      Jude Watson is also the author Judy Blundell (her real name) she just writes as Jude Watson to make it so that it has a better chance of boys reading it. 🙂


  7. writersideup June 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow, Erik, talk about a hard sell! This review doesn’t just glow—it BLAZES! 😀 For some reason THE WESTING GAME came to mind, so if it’s anything like that, it’s got to be great!


    • KidLitReviews June 26, 2014 at 12:06 am #

      Ohhh, I liked The Westing Game. Just saying ’cause I was here. 🙂


    • heylookawriterfellow June 26, 2014 at 10:06 am #

      Dang, I read The Westing Game about a jillion years ago. You’re right, Donna, the synopsis has that vibe,


      • writersideup June 26, 2014 at 10:13 am #

        MIke, I read this about 2 years ago. It was recommended by several editors so I finally did and just loved it 🙂 I still don’t believe the author wrote it by ONLY pantsing though! lol


      • heylookawriterfellow June 26, 2014 at 10:14 am #

        She pantsed that? Impressive.


      • writersideup June 26, 2014 at 10:26 am #

        Yeah, that’s what it says in the intro written by her friend, editor. Raskin had to have a VERY sharp mind to keep all those details accurate as she went. I’m assuming she at least made a list as she wrote so she wouldn’t mistakenly screw up the clues, but who knows?


      • thiskidreviewsbooks June 27, 2014 at 8:23 am #

        I HOPE she made a list – it makes me feel better. If she didn’t, she’s a genius.


      • thiskidreviewsbooks June 27, 2014 at 8:22 am #

        ONLY pantsing?! Wow.


      • writersideup June 27, 2014 at 11:04 am #

        Yep! This is the excerpt from the intro in The Westing Game edition I have in which Ann Durell states it:

        “It was there, in her studio, that she wrote and illustrated what was to be her last book, The Westing Game. As always, I didn’t know what it would be about, because Ellen didn’t know herself. She said that if she knew what was going to happen in a book, she would be too bored to write it. The carrot for her was watching the plot unfold. And, yes, she invented that incredibly complex plot of clues within clues as she went along. What a mind she had!”

        Amazing, right?!


      • thiskidreviewsbooks June 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

        DEFINITELY!!!! 😀


      • thiskidreviewsbooks June 27, 2014 at 8:20 am #

        They are both awesome books! 😀


    • thiskidreviewsbooks June 27, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      The Westing Game was a great book, too. I think you would like Loot. And, if you loved the Westing Game, read “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie. It is similar to The Westing Game. 🙂


      • writersideup June 27, 2014 at 10:56 am #

        You know, Erik, quite a few times over the years I’ve wanted to read something by her, but of course, like everything else, I never get “a round tuit” 😉 Maybe that’s the one I should shoot for. Glad you mentioned it 😀


      • thiskidreviewsbooks June 30, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

        It is a great book. 🙂


  8. heylookawriterfellow June 26, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    My wife has gone nuts for The 39 Clues. I better let her know that his book exists.


  9. Sam June 26, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    So glad you likes this! I also reviewed Loot for the blog and while it wasn’t a favorite ( I can it 3 stars), it definitely has a cure concept.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks June 27, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      Loot (to me) has a great idea, and was executed perfectly. 🙂


      • Sam June 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

        Glad you liked it!


  10. Myra GB October 9, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Somehow the book cover and the premise reminded me of Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Millions. Have you read that one yet?


    • thiskidreviewsbooks October 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Nope, and will check that our too! 😀 I do like The Westing Game, which is similar, and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which reminded me of The Westing Game. 🙂


  11. Christie Allred October 13, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    I realize this is an old post, but I just started Loot and was curious…did you find the details of March’s father’s apparent suicide in the first chapter troubling – especially since this book is aimed at middle graders?

    I know books often deal with troubling topics, but I believe this was too much for an 8-9 year old.

    What were your thoughts?


    • thiskidreviewsbooks October 14, 2014 at 6:41 am #

      Hi Ms. Allred, the publisher rates the book at 8+ years. I did put in my review that some younger kids would not be good with the Alphie death scene. (I read the death as an accident at first, not as a suicide – later you learn he was pushed). I doubt my parents would have let me read the book when I was 8, but I also know a lot of kids younger than me that read the Hunger Games (which I have not read). So I guess it is up to parents. When I read bad language or disturbing things (like Alphie’s death) I try to remember to put it in the review so that parents/librarians will know about it. I’d have rated this book at fifth grade+ (10+) maybe I should add a publishers recommended age and an Erik’s recommended age. I can also tell you that, that scene is the only thing I picked out that was disturbing in the book, but grown ups may think differently.


      • Christie Allred October 14, 2014 at 8:45 am #

        I didn’t finish the book, so I wondered if I would have later found out that he was pushed or fell. I also wonder if anyone else read that scene the way I did.

        I too hear of kids who read Hunger Games, Twilight, and other books with advanced topics – even some of the later Harry Potter books are really dark. It’s interesting how differently we all make our choices on where to draw the line, isn’t it. Some things that bother others may not bother me, and visa versa.

        Thanks for your further thoughts. 🙂


      • thiskidreviewsbooks October 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

        No problem! 😀


  12. Reagan October 29, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    I just finished the book….. OMG one of the best books ever!


  13. Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!😆


  14. Anonymous July 20, 2015 at 1:46 am #

    Best book I’ve ever read


  15. max nikul September 15, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    love this book !


  16. Anonymous December 18, 2015 at 6:00 am #

    How would you describe March


  17. Anonymous June 22, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    this book is so awesome it is right up their with two of my pursonal favorites wonder and sarafina and the black clock i would read this a lot and by your own copy because i know i will be reading it some more!


  18. Serenity Lewis November 6, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

    I read this book and is amazing shout out to Jude!!!!!!


  19. Rayya Gracy January 4, 2017 at 2:43 am #

    What would you say the theme is?


    • ThisKidReviewsBooks January 11, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

      There really isn’t one, it is just a really good story. Sorry I couldn’t help you!


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