The Good Thieves, written by Katherine Rundell is the perfect recipe for the perfect children’s adventure. A pinch of grief, a sprinkle of cleverness, a dollop of fear, a ladle full of excitement and a pot full of hope.
As with all of Katherine Rundell’s books, they are well constructed, well written, and full of heart and heroism. The central character, a young girl called Vita, is sent on a quest to bring back her ailing grandfather to England after he lost his home (a castle), to an evil land developer. Vita determines to take the castle back as well as a precious gem, worth a small fortune, that used to be her grandmothers. Enlisting the help of some unlikely but loveable characters, an acrobat, a bird-tamer and a pick-pocket, Vita sets out on a daring adventure to reclaim what is rightfully her families and in doing so claims something else entirely unexpected – friendship, a new career and her grandfather’s happiness.
Vita’s character is fierce, determined, loyal, loving and brave. She possesses all the qualities one would want to see in their children growing up and acts as an inspirational force throughout the book. The baddies are mean enough to be believable without making children frightened and the other child characters great fun, adding a lightness and humor at just the right moments. Rundell’s 1930’s New York setting is brilliantly weaved in too, making it easy to suspend disbelief throughout the story despite some rather fantastical elements.
Targeted at a middle grade audience, this book can also be enjoyed by older readers too, thanks to its quick-pace, exciting plot and Rundell’s literary writing. My son Calum, couldn’t put it down and as soon as he finished passed it to his older brother Lochie. I can’t imagine any boy or girl not loving this book! I can ‘personally’ highly recommend it too!