The good thieves by Katherine Rundell

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN 9781526608130.
(Age: 9+) Extremely highly recommended. Themes: History, Family, Friendship, Acceptance, Thieves, Disability and Disadvantage.
Vita Marlowe's grandfather's house has been taken by a conman and she is determined to get it back. After arriving in New York by boat from England, Vita sets out to get her family home back for her grandfather. Although Vita, a master planner is the main character, she enlists the help of some unlikely children: Arkady, whose father runs a Russian circus, dreams of working with animals; Samuel, the apprentice to the circus's animal trainer wants to fly; and Silk who just wants to belong, fit together in an unlikely group. Although all of the members bring special skills to the group they also bring their backgrounds in prejudice and this helps them to work together to stand up for themselves, fight against the prejudice each faces and challenge the status quo that stops them from following their dreams.
As the story progresses, the reader is pulled into the lives of not just the children but the people around them as they are confronted by the worst that society has to offer and the problem of being a child in an adult world. This is a brilliant book for all children and will not disappoint those who have read Rundell's other novels, as it is exciting, adventurous and thrilling while still showing that just because you are different doesn't mean that you can't do what you dream about doing.
Mhairi Alcorn