Booktalks

Booktalk for Swindle

  • Grades: 6–8

Griffin Bing was the Man with the Plan. No matter how complex, no matter how dangerous, no matter how risky, Griffin could do it. Stealing a baseball card was no problem. 

Griffin Bing was a planner. Even the smallest details had to be perfect. He covered every possibility, everything that could go wrong, and knew how to fix it. He was the Man with the Plan. The only thing he didn't take into consideration was that nobody would show up for the spooky sleepover in an old, condemned, and haunted house that would be demolished the next morning. 

He and his best friend Ben were the only ones who showed up. Ben went to sleep, but Griffin couldn't turn off his brain. That's why he was wandering around the old house. That's why he got a bat tangled in his hair, nearly scaring him to death. That's why he saw the old desk, and looked in the drawers and found the baseball card. He could tell it was old-there was a picture of Babe Ruth on it. Griffin knew that old baseball cards could be worth lots of money, and that the card could be the answer to all his family's money problems. But how to figure out how much it was worth?

The sign said "Palomino's Emporium of Collectibles and Memorabilia. Vintage Items Bought and Sold. Best Prices Guaranteed. S. Wendell Palomino, Owner."

Mr. Palomino looked at the card carefully, and then shook his head. Babe Ruth cards were usually worth a lot of money, but this one was a fake-Babe was in the wrong uniform. He'd give Griffin a hundred dollars for it, but that was all it was worth. 

When Griffin got home, his parents were arguing about money-again. But as he walked by the TV, he saw a familiar face-the picture of Babe Ruth from that old baseball card! Palomino was being interviewed by reporters, announcing the auction for the card. It was incredibly rare, and could sell for over a million dollars. 

Griffin had been swindled. And there wasn't a lot he could do about it-what adult would believe him instead of Palomino? 

It's a good thing that he's the Man with the Plan. One way or another, he's going to get that card back and get his own million dollars for it!

This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.

top