Booktalk for GREETINGS FROM WITNESS PROTECTION! by Jake Burt

Nicki Demere is 13 years old. She’s street savvy, book smart, and still keeps her giant stuffed animal, Ms. Fancypaws McKittenfluff on her bed. She’s also a seasoned pick-pocket, and she’s lived with five foster families in the past five years. Now she’s back at the Center again, waiting for her next placement.

When the coordinator tells Nicki there are people who want to meet her, she expects another foster family. But the man and woman waiting in the transition room don’t look like parent material. They’re wearing black uniforms, shiny badges, and they’re both carrying Tasers. They are U.S. Marshals and they’ve come to recruit her.

They want to place Nicki with the Trevor family. Harriet, Jonathan, and their son Jackson — not their real names — were forced to join the Witness Protection Program after Harriet testified against a notorious criminal family. Now the U.S. Marshalls want to add a daughter — Nicki — to the family to help disguise them. The criminals will be looking for parents with a twelve-year-old son. Not a family with a son and a daughter.

Nicki can’t tell anyone about her past or do anything to bring attention to herself or her new family. Their lives are going to depend on it.

 

Genre: humor

Grades 5-8.

 

Anna’s take on it:

I couldn’t wait to read this book. I heard about it several months before it came out, and I put its publication date on my calendar. The premise really drew me in — let’s see what happens when U.S. Marshalls recruit a street-savvy kid in foster care to help disguise a family in Witness Protection.

I met one sixth grade boy who had already read the book. He was super excited that I brought it to his class. He’d loved it, and after I talked about it, he decided he needed to go to the library that afternoon to check it out and read it again.