Friday, October 18, 2019

Review: The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

by Katherine Rundell
Simon & Schuster
Middle Grade Historical / Adventure
ages 8 to 12
272 pages

From award-winning author Katherine Rundell comes a fast-paced, sharp-turning, and utterly thrilling adventure, one driven at its heart by an extraordinarily powerful evocation of the loyalty and love between a grandfather and his granddaughter.

Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack’s spirit is broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she devises a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home. She finds a young pickpocket, working the streets of the city. And, nearby, two boys with highly unusual skills and secrets of their own are about to be pulled into her lawless, death-defying plan.

Katherine Rundell’s fifth novel is a heist as never seen before—the story of a group of children who will do anything to right a wrong.


Anything is possible with enough determination in this exciting read, which draws readers into a wonderful adventure.

Vita's life is not exactly easy. Not only is she handicapped thanks to polio, but her grandfather has lost everything thanks to an evil mafia member. Vita can't stand to see her grandfather suffer. So, she devises a plan to get everything back. But it's going to take more than just her and a little luck to make it through this adventure...and even more to have success.

1930's New York comes to life in these pages in a way readers of this age group can understand and sink into as well. But it's not only the world building which makes this a lovely read. The characters beam from the pages. While Vita is handicapped, she's possess more than just a little fire in her heart. her determination and love make her someone to be reckoned with...and someone readers can cheer for the entire way through. Her friends aren't to be ignored, either. Each one holds a passion and talent, which inspires. Middle graders dream of doing the impossible, and this book opens up exactly this dream.

While this isn't always the most fast-paced book, it's one not easily put down. The plans and danger keep the tension high, while the friends figure out how to overcome every obstacle. There's a wonderful sense of friendship, too, and shows that teamwork can make all the difference in the world. Plus, there's a touching sense of family. Vita's loyalty and love for her grandfather and family hit home and make her that much more easy to like.

This is an enjoyable tale adventure fans are sure to read until the early hours of the morning.

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