Title: The Deep End Gang
Author: Peggy Dymond Leavey
Publication Year: 2003
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from the library at school
I planned to read this book during the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon, but never got to it. Normally, I wouldn’t have chosen it even as a YA book to read, but it seemed simple and short and I thought that it was a good pick for late-night reading.
Well, I was right about this being a simple book. The Deep End Gang is narrated by a young boy named Martin who has moved, yet again, across the country with his military family. He and two other kids from the block (Holly and Granger) have formed a club called the “Deep End Gang”, called that because they hang out on plastic lawn chairs in the deep end of an empty pool in Holly’s backyard. The three of them end up on a mission to find out what is going on in the deserted house across the street when Martin sees a person wandering around in it with a flashlight one night.
From there, the story is rather predictable, with the kids trying to solve a mystery, being warned off it, then ending up saving the day. I won’t give you all the details, but those facts aren’t really spoilers because you can tell right from the get-go that it’s going to happen.
Because of this, I don’t think I would recommend this book to most students. It might be good for students who have trouble predicting what will happen and so need some support in that area, but otherwise … not so much. The story is predictable, the characters are all very stereotypical (including the overly-bossy representation of Holly), and the setting of well-off white suburbia just isn’t relevant to most students where I teach.