The Great Greene Heist (The Great Greene Heist #1) by Varian Johnson

The Great Greene Heist (The Great Greene Heist #1)

Jackson Greene has reformed. No, really he has. He became famous for the Shakedown at Shimmering Hills, and everyone still talks about the Blitz at the Fitz.... But after the disaster of the Mid-Day PDA, he swore off scheming and conning for good.Then Keith Sinclair -- loser of the Blitz -- announces he's running for school president, against Jackson's former best friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby hasn't talked to Jackson since the PDA, and he knows s...

Details The Great Greene Heist (The Great Greene Heist #1)

TitleThe Great Greene Heist (The Great Greene Heist #1)
Release DateMay 27th, 2014
PublisherArthur A. Levine Books
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, Humor, Mystery, Fiction

Reviews The Great Greene Heist (The Great Greene Heist #1)

  • Betsy
    What is the ultimate child fantasy? I’m not talking bubble gum sheets and wizards that tell you you’re “the chosen one”. Let’s think a little more realistically here. When a kid looks at the world, what is almost attainable but just out of their grasp for the moment? Autonomy, my friends. Independence. The ability to make your own rules and to have people fall in line. Often this dream takes the form of numerous orphan novels (it’s a ...
  • Ms. Yingling
    Jackson Greene, who learned cons from his grandfather and who has followed in his older brother's footsteps in perpetrating them, has given up his life of crime. He's run awful of Keith Sinclair, but now finds that he was not a good enemy to make. Keith is bound and determined to win the election for school president so he can funnel money into his own activities and take it away from everyone else. Keith's rich father has bribed the principal to...
  • Liviania
    Varian Johnson is a local Austin author, so I saw him speak several times back when I lived there. He's been talking the talk and walking the walk about diversity in children's books since before it was trendy. I'm happy to see him make the jump to middle grade and reach a new group of readers.THE GREAT GREENE HEIST throws the reader right into the deep end with a varied cast of characters and a flurry of references to past escapades. This book i...
  • Beth
    The central conceit of The Great Greene Heist is a middle school principal taking bribes to rig a student council president election. (That's not a spoiler, by the way. That's something presented immediately.)The rest of the book continues in that vein, but it lacks the verve, the levity, the deft touch to sell that kind of overblown con story. Instead, it tries to be plausible, and as a result it never succeeds at convincing on any level.From a ...
  • Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
    ¡Adoré este libro! Creo que necesitaba una buena historia, sencilla, fresca y un poco infantil, pero no por eso menos original. Leer The Great Greene Heist es como combinar High School Musical -sin las canciones- y Ocean's Eleven. Por más loco que suene esa combinación, créanme, el libro es muuuuy bueno.Nada se queda corto. Los personajes, que son chicos de 13 años, están a la altura de la historia que propone el autor. Todos son tremendam...
  • Watch Books
    I was really excited to read this book. Not that its anything wrong with it, but with the majority of black literature for children usually being about civil rights, or slavery, or serious life topics, I thought it would be cool that there was a book with a AA character just doing "normal" things. Sometimes, the serious topics can be a little heavy, and I was excited that this book could be a cool, fun, lighthearted, and the main character just s...
  • Dawn Teresa
    Originally published on my blog, ReadLove .Jackson Greene has swagger. Of mythic proportion. From the first glimpse of Varian Johnson’s protagonist in the halls of Maplewood Middle School, readers’ eyes will be peeled in anticipation. Though he’s “reformed”, you can sense Jackson’s new leaf hasn’t been turned over permanently. He’s on a slippery slope as far as scheming goes, and given the right motivation, he’ll be back in the...
  • Zanye
    There's this feeling you get in a good caper novel, like you're there with the crew. Varian Johnson is a genius with this book. Everything is so well put together, and it all fits together at the end like all the good heist volumes. It's like the book version of The Sting and Ocean's Eleven put together. And oh yeah, it's all set in middle school. Somehow Johnson pulls it off. Jackson Greene is known as a con artist at Maplewood Middle School. Th...
  • Jessica
    A fun caper in the vein of THE WESTING GAME or OCEAN'S 11. OCEANS is actually brought up several times, and Team Greene (aka Gang Greene) even name all the sections of their plan a la Danny Ocean and his gang. Hilarious, and so fun! A lovely diverse cast try to rig the school elections, not for nefarious purposes, but because the PRINCIPAL is rigging it himself, in order to appease a wealthy parent who has been bribing him! What's a (kind of) ref...
  • Ann
    I love cons and heist books and films. While some of what was going on, particularly in the technical details, seemed like it was probably a bit beyond middle school students, the motivations and actual carrying out of the plan seemed more or less realistic. I'm not entirely sure that an eighth grader would have the psychological savvy to anticipate everyone's reactions as well as Jackson does, but I'm willing to allow it. I loved that the presid...
  • Laura5
    This is a fabulously fun caper you won't want to miss.This has the smart and sassy feel of movies like Oceans 11, The Italian Job, or the TV show Leverage, only in a novel for the middle grade/middle school set.To pull off a great heist, you need a good crew - which often involves a lot of characters. This means a lot of set up at the start to establish characters and their relationships (as well as their talents). Varian Johnson does this well, ...
  • Tony Keefer
    I loved nearly everything about this book. The diversity in characters was very appealing, the caper style plot was fantastic. Hoping their might be at least one more adventure with Gang Greene.
  • Martha
    Jackson Greene has a reputation for getting into trouble, even though he's a very bright middle school student. In fact he is so bright he scams clever pranks that leave him unscathed, except in the eyes of Gaby de la Cruz, his best friend's sister whom he likes a lot. Due to viewing him kissing another girl, Gaby has crossed Jackson off her list of trusted friends. She is now running for student council president, and even though Jackson has agr...
  • Elizabeth
    Recommended by the CCBC, I found this book fast paced, clever, and suspenseful. Jackson Greene comes from a line of heisters (is that a word?!) and he decides to pull a heist for the benefit of his friend Gaby who he really likes. Gaby is running for class president in the middle school but her competition, bad guy Keith, seems to have it already all wrapped with the help of unsavory Dr. Kelsey who is the principal. Jackson gathers a group of tal...
  • Wally
    Jackson Greene is a con artist who has given up his pranking ways because of how his last one not only fell flat, but made him lose Gaby, the girl he was interested in. When he learns Keith Sinclair is running for president of their middle school against Gaby, he knows he must help her, even if that means returning to his old ways. Jackson comes off like a young hero from Ocean's Eleven, and he does try to do the right thing. The fact that he's A...
  • Barb Middleton
    Whether I want to admit it or not, there is a certain amount of wish fulfillment going on when I watch movies or read fantasy, spy, or science fiction books. I'll never be a butt-kicking warrior but that doesn't mean it isn't fun pretending I am for a couple of hours. This book will satisfy most middle schooler's alter ego of pretending to buck authority and outsmart the powers-that-be. It's fun. It's heady. Plop in some humor and action and ya g...
  • Caleb S 8b
    I've read this book multiple times, and it's always been so awesome!
  • Akoss
    I don't know where I should start raving about this book.I loved everything about it. Yep. Pretty much.So this is the story of a retired middle school con artist who grew a conscience and decided to come to the aid of an ex-friend Gaby (long story) in her race for President at Maplewood Middle School. Instead of helping her cheat or cheating for her, he was going to help her win fair and square despite all attempts from her opponent (Keith Sincla...
  • Priyanka
    Rating: 5 out of 5 starsAge Recommended: 12 and upGenre: Realistic FictionThis book was an ARC courtesy of NetGalley.The Great Greene Heist--------------------------------------------------He is the most famous of them all...He is... Jackson Greene!Jackson is a crook. Well, not really a crook. More like a very talented individual who has no idea what to use his talent for. Jackson is good at thievery and he is known school wide for his tricks.Jac...
  • Melissa Mcavoy
    Jackson Greene has the skills to con or lift whatever he wants at Maplewood Middle School, but after getting caught four months ago he has turned over a new leaf and is playing by the rules…until he learns Keith Sinclair plans on stealing the student body president election from Jackson’s ex-best-friend and current crush, Gaby, in order to vindictively defund all the clubs Jackson and his friends value. Greene must get back into the game, pla...
  • Christiana
    3.5 stars for me. I liked this pretty well, but I think it helps that I am a sucker for heist books. I agree with Gabrielle-the times this book mentioned anything related to the Columbus, Ohio setting seemed forced ("Even though the neighborhood of Short North was mostly galleries..." and "[he] waited in the Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library System") and like someone just mad libbed for "hip neighborhood" or "library branch". ...
  • Joshua Whiting
    This review posted on is a fun, quick read with a diverse cast of characters who come together through a series of schemes to save their middle school from the threat of a rigged student election. Jackson Greene is a classic charismatic con artist with a heart of gold, but readers will also find many other characters to relate to in this book, including Gaby the straight-laced student...
  • Liz
    3.5 StarsStarted hearing all of the hype and was anxiously awaiting the book's release when I found an ARC on my own TBR shelf! Surprise! Forgot I had picked it up at NCTE or BEA. Love a mystery, love a heist. The representation of diverse characters is something we are missing and craving in literature for children and young adults. This book delivers that. When I really think about the action…I sort of have to think fantasy because the though...
  • Amy
    I am the worst person to read an early copy of this only because middle grade is not my favorite. Taking that into account, I still enjoyed it and can easily identify the type of reader who would love this book. It's very smartly written, which is a necessity in a heist book. I loved Jackson Greene and the wide array of side characters. It was a lot of fun, if not my exact cup of tea. My actual rating would have been a 3 ("I liked it"), but I bum...
  • Rachael
    Very cute and entertaining. Was it believable? Not in the slightest, unless you know five 8th graders that could pull off Ocean's 11 style cons. However, still a great one to hand to the kiddos. I remember reading or hearing that is was free of romance though and it wasn't really. One of the key elements revolves around a male and female characters' ''will they, won't they?'' bit.For those of you who want to know, out of the large cast of charact...
  • Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
    Reformed trouble-maker Jackson Greene's well-intentioned plot to even the playing field during the student council election is a long shot. When you're the most watched student in middle school, it's going to take more than just luck to pull it off, it's going to take a miracle! The Great Greene Heist is a comical story of friendship that is one part Ferris Bueller's Day Off hi-jinx combined with an equal part of Oceans 11 plot twists. Definitely...
  • Abigail
    This book is a lot like The Fourth Stall-and I LOVED The Fourth Stall! It is a bit different though.... There is some romance in it. Jackson has different reasons than Mac for what he does. I think it more of a book for older readers in the sense that the story line is quite different than The Fourth Stall. Overall I loved this book so much that I bought it-and I rarely do that so there's something.
  • Maria
    Took me a bit to get into the story - lots of the references to past heists made me feel like I had jumped into the second book in a series. By halfway through I was engaged and I liked the characters a lot. If you know someone who enjoyed this book - because they liked the pranks and heists - be sure to introduce them to the First Stall series!