The Classy Crooks by Alison Cherry

Sometimes it seems like Grandmothers get no respect in middle-grade books. They sip tea, play bridge or are witches! Watch out! Here come Grannies with style. Who knew bridge playing tea sippers could be such amazing thieves? Not only can they pull off heists, they can teach our middle-grade heroine a thing or two about being fearless. But being fearless isn’t always the same thing as having courage, as AJ soon discovers.

When her parents go to do research in the Amazon, AJ has to spend the summer with her Grandma Jo. She dreads it. She thinks they have nothing in common. Grandma Jo insists she dress like a lady and learn things like etiquette. AJ wants to play soccer and spend time with her friends. How is thoroughly modern AJ supposed to navigate middle school troubles of best friends and “mean girls” when her Grandmother doesn’t even let her leave the house? The answer may actually be in the house. When AJ explores the house she stumbles upon a secret. Grandma Jo and her friends are thieves! They recruit her to help them. She gets more than she bargains for when she discovers a side of her Grandmother she didn’t know was there, and a side of herself she never thought possible: a smart resourceful courageous side that will help her make the right decisions about heists and navigate the difficult waters of middle school as well.

The Classy Crooks Club is a fun and easy read. Alison Cherry does a wonderful job capturing an authentic middle-grade voice. Expertly paced and enjoyable throughout, it is a must read.

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