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Masterminds (Book 1)

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about the book



Eli Frieden lives in the perfect community—Serenity, New Mexico. Everyone is happy, harmonious, employed, and they have everything they could ever need. Nothing matters more in Serenity than honesty and integrity, so the thirty kids in town never, ever lie, because they know that it could easily cause them to spiral into other negative habits.  These bad habits could then lead to other unpleasant realities of life faced by people who live outside the city—nasty things like crime.

One day, after Randy encourages his best friend Randy to bike to the city limits, Eli starts to get sick. When he recovers, Randy wants nothing to do with him anymore. He begins to act strangely and tells everyone he has to go visit his grandparents, even though no one ever leaves Serenity—for any reason.

After others become ill from getting too close to the city limits, Eli becomes suspicious.  He and some friends dig deep into the town’s creation and history, and they realize their lives are based on one giant lie. Nothing is real, and everything they’ve ever known has been based on an experiment involving DNA and cloning.

And the only way they can survive now that they know Serenity’s dark secret is to escape—no easy task when you’re being watched.

teachingbooks-bookabout the author

gordon kormanGordon Korman was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As a kid, he loved hockey, was not a big reader, and had a cool nickname Gman. He wrote his first novel as a school assignment in seventh grade and it was published two years later. He got a B+!

Gordon studied film writing at New York University but now writes for young adults. He has been writing for 25 years, written over seventy books, and has sold over seven million copies! Gorman lives with his wife and three children in Long Island, Florida, and Toronto.

The ideas for his books always come from a real situation but then his imagination takes over. He works in his home office on a computer and he tries to write from nine to five each day.

Gordon is a versatile writer whose books can be humorous, suspenseful, or adventurous. He says “making stuff up” is a great job!

Author website
Author biography: Book Rags
Author interview: Blogcritics

Book trailer: Masterminds

Also by Gordon Korman:
Jingle (Swindle, Book 8). Scholastic. 2016.
Slacker. Scholastic. 2016.
Criminal Destiny (Masterminds, Book 1). Balzer + Bray. 2016.
The Dragonfly Effect (Hypnotists, Book 3). Scholastic. 2015.
Unleashed (Swindle, Book 7). Scholastic. 2015.
Flashpoint (39 Clues : Unstoppable, Book 4). Scholastic. 2014.
Jackpot (Swindle, Book 6). Scholastic. 2014.
Memory Maze (Hypnotists, Book 2). Scholastic. 2014.
Hideout (Swindle, Book 5). Scholastic. 2013.
The Hypnotists (Book 1). Scholastic. 2013.
Ungifted. Balzer + Bray. 2012.
Showoff (Swindle, Book 4). Scholastic. 2012.
The Medusa Plot (39 Clues : Cahills Vs. Vespers, Book 1). Scholastic. 2011.
The Emperor’s Code (39 Clues, Book 8). Scholastic. 2010.
Framed (Swindle, Book 3). Scholastic. 2010.
Zoobreak (Swindle, Book 2). Scholastic. 2009.
Juvie Three. Hyperion Press. 2008.
Swindle (Swindle, Book 1). Scholastic. 2008.
One False Note (39 Clues, Book 2). Scholastic. 2008.
The On the Run series. Scholastic. 2005-2006.


read more!

criminal destiny


Criminal Destiny (Masterminds, Book 2) by Gordon Korman
Having discovered that they are part of something called Project Osiris, Eli, Tori, Amber, and Malik have escaped their “perfect” hometown of Serenity and are finally in the real world. They need to track down the Project’s founder for answers. To do so, they may have to break the law—which might make them into the very criminals they were being molded to become!




Ambassador by William Alexander
When the Envoy asked if Gabe wanted to be Earth’s ambassador to the galaxy, he thought, Why not? Now Gabe finds himself in the path of an alien force bent on destruction and the target of an assassination plot. To make the summer even more eventful, on Earth his parents are in danger of being deported. Can Gabe discover solutions to all of his “alien” problems?




Popular Clone (Clone Chronicles, Book 1) by M.E. Castle
Tired of being bullied, Fisher has the brilliant idea to clone himself and send his double to school in his place. While he eats Cheetos dipped in ketchup all day and works on inventions at home, Fisher 2 becomes Mr. Popular at school. Trouble brews though, when evil scientist Dr. Xander kidnaps his cool clone, and Fisher and his flying pet pig will have to save the day!