Nicki Demere is a 12-year-old, sarcastic, street-wise, expert pickpocket and a long-term participant in the foster-care system. That makes her a top candidate to assist the FBI in hiding a family from the most dangerous crime syndicate in the country. What better way to hide a family of three than to make it a family of four? When Nicki learns that her father had been out of prison for two years and hadn’t come to get her out foster care, she gives up on him. She agrees to leave her old life behind forever and go into the Witness Protection Program with the Trevor family (not their real name, of course.)
Learning to be Charlotte Trevor, a b-minus student and bad basketball player isn’t that hard to do, but not getting attached to her new family and her new friends is. Middle school is dangerous place with school elections, social cliques and standardized testing. And then there’s that little problem of the hitman that is hunting them down to kill them. Stress is not good for her kleptomania. Can Nicki keep her terrible secret safe? And can she keep her faux family alive?
This touching, humorous, thrilling story is Jake Burt’s debut MG novel. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. Recommended for ages 10 and up.