Running with the Reservoir Pups : Eddie and the Gang with No Name: Book One
When boredom drives Eddie to seek out other boys his age, he loses his brand new sneakers to a street punk as well as his bike and he ends up being wanted by one of the toughest gangs in the city. To top it all off, he is the sole witness to the kidnaping of 12 innocent babies from the hospital nursery.
Eddie is not happy. His father has left home, he and his mother moved to the city away from his friends, and he has no cable. Being the new kid on the block is never very fun, but for Eddie, it's the worst time in his life. Ever since he and his mom moved to the city so she can work as a nurse in a hospital, he keeps getting into one scrape after another.
Once, while exploring the hospital, he gets blamed for a scam a neighborhood gang is responsible for and the head of hospital security, Scuttles, is mean and doesn't care to hear the truth. To make matters worse, his mom is now dating Scuttles.
At one point, Eddie decides to join the gang The Reservoir Pups and, as initiation, they send him on a mission...to steal the security codes from Scuttles' computer. As Eddie is hiding in the security office downloading the codes into his laptop, he overhears a kidnaping plan.
He runs to the gang's headquarters to get help but the Reservoir Pups aren't interested in helping, only getting the security codes. They throw Eddie out with a warning to watch his back from now on. Once again, Eddie is on his own.
"Running with the Reservoir Pups" is a fun, witty, tale of a 12 year-old boy with a gigantic amount of integrity and ambition. He sacrifices himself on more than one occasion, often without thought of his own safety. His love for his mother is deep and he protects her in ways she never knows. It's important for him to do the right thing and he works very hard to accomplish it.
The gang aspect of the book is a bit disturbing at times. The gangs are often destructive of personal property and none of the members show any concern for anything or anyone outside their tight circle. Thankfully, good prevails throughout the book, but the comeuppance due the Reservoir Pups never comes.
Overall, this first installment in a trilogy penned by Colin Bateman is an entertaining read with much to offer the pre-teen and teen - boys and girls. But keep in mind that if your child has ideas of grandeur when it comes to gangs, you should probably read it aloud as a family so you can remind your child that this is only fiction and most gangs are not cool.