By Gordon Korman
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[Image from Scholastic]


(Book description)

  • Swindle
  • By Gordon Korman
  • Published in 2008 by Scholastic

Griffin Bing wanted to have a sleepover with his classmates in an old house that was being torn down so they could discuss how the house should turn into a skatepark instead of a museum. However, when searching through the house, Griffin finds a valuable baseball card and wants to sell it for money. He brings it to S. Wendell Palomino who tells them the card is a reproduction or copy and only worth $120! Shortly after the boys find out the card is worth one million dollars and Palmonino swindled, or tricked them, out of paying them what the card was really worth. Griffin vows to get even and get the card back without letting anything stand in his way!

Task 1

Facts about the Author


[Image from Gordon Korman's official website]

Who is Gordon Korman?
  • We know from the back of the book that Gordon Korman is the author.
  • We also know from the back of the book a few, simple facts about Gordon Korman.

But, how do we find more information about Gordon Korman?
One way is to search the Internet for information about Gordon Korman. You can click on the links that your School Media Specialist found to see what else you can learn about the author.

1. Take a few minutes with your group and visit these websites about Gordon Korman to learn information about him.

2. Please download the note-taking sheet to help organize your group's facts about Gordon Korman. If you copy and paste the facts, please remember to rewrite them in your own words for step three!
  • Once you click the link, please select "Okay" and your organizer will download and then open Microsoft Excel, you will need to click the box under "Author Facts," and type your name and then type each fact separately in the boxes to the right of your name. Print when finished because you will use this for step 3!

3. After organizing and discussing the facts your group learned about Gordon Korman each member of the group should record the three interesting things they learned about Gordon Korman to share with the other book groups in your class. Use your note-taking sheet as your script! Please record your comment on the Voice Thread below.

Voice Thread

[Image from Gordon Korman's official website]

4. Once all the group's have completed their Voice Threads, make sure to view their pages so you can listen to author information to help prepare you for the Book Battle.
  • Click on the book title on the left and then Voice Thread link on the right to hear what your classmates discovered about their author!

Task 2


1. With your group, brainstorm at least 10 adjectives to describe the book.
  • Here are some questions to think about:
    • What are the first words that come to your mind when you think of Griffin or Ben?
    • Was the book funny?
    • Was the book sad?
    • Was the book short or long?
      • For a bonus, try to use words from the Library Center's or your classroom's Word Wall or spelling words!
  • Try to come up with interesting words by using a thesaurus, a dictionary of synonyms (like words) and antonyms (opposites), which we have used in the School Library Media Center.
    • You may use the thesaurus online by visiting the website:
      • Please Click: Thesaurus
        • Remember to select thesaurus before typing in your word and then press go!


2. Now, you are ready to type the words you brainstormed into the Wordle.
  • Please visit the Student Resources Page on Wordle Instructions first.
  • Now, you are ready to create your Wordle so click on the link:
  • Remember after you created your Wordle, you can make the Wordle a unique, creative, creation of your group by changing the color settings, layout (the way it looks) and font.

3. After your Wordle is created, please print the page as we will be hanging up the Wordles on the bulletin board in our School Library Media Center next to a print-out of the book's cover!
  • Make sure to browse, look, at everyone's Wordle in the Center because some of the Book Battle questions may have to do with a Wordle!

Task 3

Create a Trading Card


1. It is time to create a trading card for several of the characters in the book.This will not only help you study for the Book Battle, but be super fun to make!
  • For Swindle, each student will have to make a character trading card. You may choose from the following characters:
    • Griffin Bing
    • Ben Slovak
    • Old Man Rockford
    • Babe Ruth
    • S. Wendell Palomino
    • Savannah Drysdale
    • Antonia "Pitch" Benson
    • Logan Kellerman
    • Melissa Dukakis
    • Darren
      • If you are up for a challenge, select a lesser known character to profile and get the chance to be a real book detective to search for the information about them in the text, chapters.
      • If there are more students in the group than characters, as long as all the characters are taken, two students may do the same character, but each have to produce or make their own trading card!

2. The first thing your group will do is download a graphic organizer to help you brainstorm everything you can about these characters.
  • Characteristics you may want to brainstorm about:
    • Appearance, looks
    • Age or grade
    • Hobbies
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Likes
    • Dislikes
  • Please Click: Graphic Organizer

3. After you fill our your graphic organizer, you will draw a photo of each of the characters on what you think they look like. Don't forget to write the character's name on top of the picture you draw!
  • Paper, pencils and crayons will be on the main worktables.
  • When you are finished with your drawing, please find your School Media Specialist to take pictures of the drawings that you will use to make your trading card with. How neat!

4. Once your photo has been uploaded to the computer, please read the instructions on the Student Resource Page on how to make trading cards.

5. Now you are ready to make your trading card!

6. Once your card is finished and printed, they will be displayed on the bulletin board along with the Wordles.
  • Make sure during your free time or library visits to read the other students' trading cards because you never know where a Book Battle question might come from!

Task 4

ALA Reading Poster

[Image from the American Library Association Store]

Before you click on the Book Battle link to take the quiz on your book to complete your Book Battle Tasks, you have earned your very own ALA Read Poster, just like the ones we have in the library! Now you will get the opportunity to be a Reading Superstar!

1. When your group is ready for this task, please see the School Library Media Specialist and you will have your picture taken with Swindle!

2. Once your pictures are uploaded to the computer, please visit the ALA Poster Instructions section on the Student's Resources Page.

3. After reading the instructions, you may begin creating your poster by clicking on the websites:


Once your poster is printed and handed in, you should:
[Image by Ms. L]

1. Begin to take the quiz for Swindle!

2. Then test your knowledge on the other books you read by taking the quizzes for them too! (Let's refresh your mind for the Book Battle.)

3. When you have finished your quizzes, you may visit the Fun Links page or take a Book Battle Poll!