Hoax for Hire

Hoax for Hire

The McNeil family has always been professional hoaxers—tricking bystanders into believing they’re seeing legendary creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.Unlike the rest of his family, twelve-year-old Grayson hates hoaxing and wants nothing to do with the business—even when the McNeils land a huge job and must pull off four sea monster hoaxes in a wee...

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Title:Hoax for Hire
Author:Laura Martin
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Hoax for Hire Reviews

  • Ms. Yingling

    ARC Provided by Young Adult Books Central

    Grayson MacNeil would really like to be able to pay attention in school, get his application essay for a private school written, and get a scholarship so he can pursue a career in photography, but his family is holding him back. His father and grandfather are cryptid hunters and hoax masters who travel the globe fabricating Big Foot and sea creature sightings. Grayson and his brother Curtis often have to accompany them, and when the family get

    ARC Provided by Young Adult Books Central

    Grayson MacNeil would really like to be able to pay attention in school, get his application essay for a private school written, and get a scholarship so he can pursue a career in photography, but his family is holding him back. His father and grandfather are cryptid hunters and hoax masters who travel the globe fabricating Big Foot and sea creature sightings. Grayson and his brother Curtis often have to accompany them, and when the family gets a big contract to pull off four sea creature sightings in a short amount of time, they end up pulling a successful hoax themselves. This comes at a price-- Grayson is told that if he misses one more day of school, his scholarship application is in jeopardy. Since family finances are tight and his mother has passed away, Grayson feels like he needs to put his own needs on hold. This includes socializing with the fun and friendly Clare from his class. When he finally agrees to meet her at a bonfire party (and even buys the name brand marshmallows for s'mores), things are going great... until he hears a recording of a monster that he himself did! The teens panic and run away, but Curtis and Grayson end up in jail. The people behind the hoax? The only other big hoax masters, the Gerhard family from Germany. Clive and Axel are angry that their family didn't get the big contract, so they have decided to pull out all the stops to sabotage the MacNeils. Not only have they detained the father in Scotland and sent the grandfather off on a wild goose chase to save him, but they break into the MacNeil's property and steal all of the newest and best hoax equipment. With the adults out of the picture, it falls to the boys to pull off the one last hoax in Vermont, with less than optimal equipment. It will be a tough task, but help comes from an unlikely source. Will they be able to pull off this scam, or will the Gerhard family finally win?

    This was a completely fresh and engaging novel! There are very few books about cryptids out there (Savage's Lemons, Smith's Cryptid Hunters and Aldredge and DuBois-Shaw' s Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things are the only ones I can think of), but the idea that since cryptid hunting isn't lucrative, the family has turned to inventing cryptid sightings was brilliant. I loved how the author just set out all of this information and expected me to believe that the MacNeil clan was involved in the Loch Ness sightings in Scotland, hunted cryptids for years, and that the boys' father, when things became tight financially, decided to stage sightings! The family log book, the years' worth of antique equipment, and the habit of mayors of towns wanting to hire the family to ramp up tourism were all details that made me nod my head and say "Huh. That could work."

    Grayson was a great character, with his passion for learning and doing well in school. Curtis, whose love of the family business makes his less than enthusiastic about attending classes, is a great foil for him. The fact that the boys do okay on their own, cooking meals, successfully setting up sea monsters, and even getting out of jail by themselves, will appeal to young readers. I would have preferred that their mother were off setting up a hoax to get her out of the way, but the grandfather is such an appealing character that I am glad that he is there, trying to fill the mom sized hole with a tornado of his own energy!

    I wasn't sure how I felt about the Gerhards, but I was surprised when they showed up. They are quite evil, and aren't fooling around in their attempts to take down the MacNeils. This took the novel in a direction I wasn't quite expecting, which I loved! This is the sort of book that I can always use-- it's funny, a little dark, and has plenty of unexpected adventure. Hand this to any middle grade reader who isn't quite sure what they want, other than a fantastic read!

  • Aja

    I am in love with this book. While I thought some of the flashbacks were kind of long, I understood that it was necessary to get a firm grasp of the character's backstories and lives before diving deep into the adventure at hand. One of the few things I wish was included in the book was a glossary in the back with brief descriptions of the wide assortment of cryptids that are mentioned throughout the story. I myself am a cryptid fanatic and loved pulling out my phone to figure out what all the d

    I am in love with this book. While I thought some of the flashbacks were kind of long, I understood that it was necessary to get a firm grasp of the character's backstories and lives before diving deep into the adventure at hand. One of the few things I wish was included in the book was a glossary in the back with brief descriptions of the wide assortment of cryptids that are mentioned throughout the story. I myself am a cryptid fanatic and loved pulling out my phone to figure out what all the different creatures were but a glossary would be helpful for those who don't have the technology at hand. Otherwise, the story itself was phenomenal and full of thrilling adventure, danger, and mysteries around every corner. I really hope this becomes a series because I would want to collect every book!

  • Lin Ryals

    Plot (4 stars): It's a cute story that follows two brothers. The youngest one is twelve and the oldest is old enough to drive, but I'm not sure of actual age. They have to carry on the family business of pulling of hoaxes. Things get complicated and they wind up having to risk everything to pull off the grand slam of hoaxes.

    Characters (5 stars): Grayson and Curtis have such well developed personalities. The reader watches as they grow as people and in their brotherly bond throughout their adven

    Plot (4 stars): It's a cute story that follows two brothers. The youngest one is twelve and the oldest is old enough to drive, but I'm not sure of actual age. They have to carry on the family business of pulling of hoaxes. Things get complicated and they wind up having to risk everything to pull off the grand slam of hoaxes.

    Characters (5 stars): Grayson and Curtis have such well developed personalities. The reader watches as they grow as people and in their brotherly bond throughout their adventure. Gramps has my favorite personality of everyone though. He is very funny!

    Writing (3 stars): The writing was great, but there was sometimes too much and it made the story go a little slow for my tastes. There were a lot of chapters where I just read the first line of each paragraph and the dialogue. I was just a bit bored reading all the details of everything. It was great for the character development, but I loved the characters even though I skipped a lot of it.

    Overall: This was such a cute book that, I think, my son would have enjoyed. It's great for the age range it's intended for!

  • Donna

    Fun story about choosing family or your dreams - but do you have to make a choice?

    Grayson's family is in the hoax field - but he wants out. He wants to become a photojournalist. He is pretty much a loner at school because he can't tell anyone about what his family does. When he meets Clare, he thinks he has finally made a real friend - but is she. And when things go wrong, he and his brother have to save the family reputation - can he step up and do this one last thing before he calls it q

    Fun story about choosing family or your dreams - but do you have to make a choice?

    Grayson's family is in the hoax field - but he wants out. He wants to become a photojournalist. He is pretty much a loner at school because he can't tell anyone about what his family does. When he meets Clare, he thinks he has finally made a real friend - but is she. And when things go wrong, he and his brother have to save the family reputation - can he step up and do this one last thing before he calls it quits?

    Adventure, humor - will appeal to many students.

    DRC from Edelweiss and Harper Children's

  • Theresa Grissom

    Thanks to Edelweiss for an ARC of this book.

    Hoax for Hire was a fun, unique and fast paced middle grade book that I think the students will love. I'm excited to share this book with them.

  • caitlin

    Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.

    Definitely buying a copy for my library! Perfect for readers of Rick Riordan, this middle grade adventure book is about a family who simultaneously hunts for legendary monsters while setting up elaborate hoax versions for others to see. It was funny and original!

  • Krissy Neddo

    A little too slow/too much description in beginning. Not sure my elementary readers will stick with story. Picks up in middle and has exciting ending.

  • Anita

    Plot has Hatfields and McCoys vibe but set in current times. The feud, in this case, is between two rival families who are professional hoaxers, carrying on the family traditions of staging and prompting EWs (eye witnesses) to record cryptid sightings (Big Foot, Loch Ness Monster, etc).

    There were long descriptions at the beginning of the book that might not hook readers right away. The finish was strong.

    Recommended for middle grade students who are avid readers.

  • Shirley Freeman

    Twelve-year-old Grayson MacNeil desperately wants out of the family hoaxing business. What's the point of risking life and limb to set up elaborate hoaxes (think Big Foot and Loch Ness Monster) when you can't photograph it or talk about it ever. One weekend Dad and Gramps are both out of the country setting up hoaxes requiring Grayson and his older brother to step up to the plate in a big way. Enter one adventure/disaster after another. Underlying the adventure is a story about family and sacrif

    Twelve-year-old Grayson MacNeil desperately wants out of the family hoaxing business. What's the point of risking life and limb to set up elaborate hoaxes (think Big Foot and Loch Ness Monster) when you can't photograph it or talk about it ever. One weekend Dad and Gramps are both out of the country setting up hoaxes requiring Grayson and his older brother to step up to the plate in a big way. Enter one adventure/disaster after another. Underlying the adventure is a story about family and sacrifice and love.

  • Namrata

    this book sounds pretty interesting. can't wait to get a copy!

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