Book - 2015
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"A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment"--
Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2015
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781443428736
Characteristics: 323 p. ; 22 cm


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Jan 05, 2021

Eli Frieden lives in Serenity, New Mexico, the most perfect town in the world. There is no crime, no poverty, and everyone is so nice. Eli doesn't see this as a problem until his best friend, Randy is sent away and leaves Eli a note, telling him that things in Serenity are not as perfect as they seem. It isn't long before Eli along with three of his friends begin to investigate things that just don't seem to fit about their town. What they discover leads them to attempt a most daring escape.

Masterminds has a tantalizing mystery as well as an interesting premise - a perfect town filled with secrets. Each chapter is told from the perspective of different characters, so as the mystery unfolds, we see the different reactions of each character as they start to realize that their lives have all been a huge lie. Overall, this is a very unique story that should have conspiracy theorists salivating.

What would you do if you found out that your parents weren't really your parents? That's the kids of Serenity must decide for themselves after discovering that they're clones! Can they find a way to live in their known with their new knowledge, or must they make a daring escape?

Aug 22, 2020

This book was unlike anything I've ever read before. It was awesome

Apr 27, 2020

A thrilling read with an intriguing premise. Gordon Korman's execution of the story is absolutely fantastic and creates a story that makes you want to keep reading no matter what.

Jan 09, 2020

A really fun book with an interesting premise.

Jan 04, 2020

Amazing, interesting and fast paced story!

Feb 19, 2019

Intriguing and fun, I'm definitely interested in seeing where this series goes from here!

Jan 31, 2019

i feel like this book is my least fav book in the masterminds series. i would normally love Amber but in this book.....but i'm still checking out the series a second time! Payback is the best .

Dec 19, 2018

A solid start to a new series. I will read book #2.

Oct 11, 2018

Five out of five, this is an amazing book. Gotta love Gordon Korman!

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Age Suitability

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Dec 11, 2020

navy_fox_409 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 30, 2020

white_fox_690 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Aug 22, 2020

Monarch_47 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 18

Jul 26, 2020

picklesrawsome thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 02, 2020

Zacharychang thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 14

Jan 04, 2020

manreetd thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 14

Feb 13, 2019

indigo_dog_661 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 16, 2018

mauve_seastar_22 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 80

Aug 25, 2018

violet_turtle_932 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Aug 16, 2018

ReneeMG06 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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Oct 02, 2017

13-year old Eli Frieden is involved in an accident at the edge of Serenity, New Mexico (which is claimed to be "perfect") and he gets sick. Soon his best friend Randy is sent away to boarding school away from Serenity. When Eli finds a note that Randy leaves, and he (and some friends he recruits) finds that nothing is like what is seems like in Serenity.
Recommended for 9-13 year old
P.S. I left out some pretty crucial parts of the book because I don't want to spoil it.

SPL_Kids Jun 23, 2016

Serenity, New Mexico, is a peaceful, self-sufficient community. Its residents, young and old, practise the values that they have always been taught: honesty, kindness, peace, getting along with others, and non-violence. They believe that Serenity is the best community in the world – there is no crime, unemployment, poverty or homelessness - and they see little need to travel elsewhere.
However, all is not as it seems in “perfect” Serenity.
Eli Frieden, a 13-year-old resident, receives a note from a friend whose family has just been sent away from the community. “Protect yourself, Eli. There’s something screwy going on in that town.”
Shortly after that, a severe storm briefly affects the community’s Internet access. During that short interval, Eli retrieves some very disturbing online information about Serenity - information that isn’t usually available to the public. It appears that town has some very sinister secrets. In fact, Serenity is connected to some of the most heinous criminal masterminds ever known!
Eli is shocked and realizes that most of the residents – even his neighbours and possibly his own parents – can’t be trusted.
In their search for answers, Eli and his friends make some unthinkably grim discoveries.
At the end of this fast-paced story (which is narrated in alternating voices, including that of Eli), some unanswered questions remain. Masterminds is the first book in a new adventure / science fiction trilogy by Gordon Korman, author of a wide range of popular fiction for children. Readers will be keen to read the second installment!
** Recommended for ages 9 to 12 years.

cmlibrary_jcurrie Jan 25, 2016

Eli and his friends live in the small, perfect town of Serenity, New Mexico. The streets have names like Amity and Happiness. All the families have a beautiful green lawn, a big house, and a swimming pool. Life is perfect in Serenity, but boring. Then something happens that gets Eli’s best friend Randy kicked out of Serenity. He leaves clues and a note to warn Eli that something is not right in their perfect little town. Eli and his friends start to investigate and discover that everything they have been told about themselves, their town and their parents is not true.


Add Notices
Aug 16, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Supposed death in a truck that blows up.

Violence: There is death, and violence. It isn’t described in great detail. May be frightening to younger children.


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