Loot by Jude Watson is my second to last read from this year’s Intermediate Nutmeg nominees. March and Jules McQuin are twins who have been separated ever since the fateful night when their dad, mom and a friend were stealing cursed moonstones from Carlotta Grimstone. The curse caused their mom’s death, the friend’s incarceration and foretold their death at the age of thirteen. Their dad Alfie, who is an infamous robber, decided to separate them in an attempt to outsmart the curse.
March stayed with his dad and learned the life of an accomplished robber while his sister stayed with aunt Blue, a performer in a traveling trapeze/circus act. In a terrible turn of events, March witnesses his dad “falling” from a building during a job. Alfie is able to muster a few last words to his son before he passes away.
March is reunited with his long-lost twin when they are both sent to a juvenile facility back in the U.S.. It’s here where they meet up with their new “family,” companions Izzy and Darius. This group of four pull from each other’s unique talents to follow the clues that Alfie has left behind. Their mission is to steal back the rest of the moonstones in hopes of breaking the curse on their lives. Of course, they also hope to make seven million dollars upon returning the gems to their original owner.
While this story at times stretches the realm of reality, it is action-packed and fast-paced. I think it will definitely appeal to middle grade readers; I know it appealed to this middle-aged one!