TITLE: The Good Thieves
AUTHOR: Katherine Rundell
PAGE EXTENT: 352
GENRE: Middle Grade Historical Fiction
MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
SOURCE: Received a copy from Bloomsbury India in exchange for an honest review.
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.
I am a huge fan of historical fiction. I am a huge fan of Middle Grade(well, it’s my favorite genre out there). A historical fiction Middle Grade novel set in 1920s New York City featuring children on a heist? I KNEW I had to get my hands on this one! Having heard a lot about Katherine Rundell’s books, I dove into this with a lot of expectations and it definitely colored me impressed! I’m pretty sure you can see me reading her other books in the future.
Vita Marlowe has just landed in New York City with her mum to look after her ailing grandfather. When she finds out that her grandfather was cheated out of his property by a rich businessman, she wants to steal it back! Well, if you’re stealing back something that’s already stolen, it means you’re a ‘good’ thief, right?
Vita cannot do this alone. She teams up with Silk, an orphaned pickpocket; Arkady, a Russian circus performer and Samuel, a trapeze artist as she embarks on a heist to teach that nasty monster a lesson he’ll never forget!
Rundell’s writing style is smooth, easygoing and so very readable. This one was indeed unputdownable and I ended up reading it from cover to cover in one sitting! Fast-paced, well-written action scenes and one formidable villain: this is the recipe for a perfect Middle Grade novel!
By featuring a disabled protagonist(Vita is a polio survivor living with chronic pain and a twisted leg), this novel goes on to show young readers how you can achieve anything on the planet if you put your heart and soul into it, and your disability will not stand in the way! Vita, as a disabled person, knows the extent of her abilities and is mature enough to understand when things are out of her reach as she deftly handles every situation she lands up in. Katherine, thank you so much for making disabled children felt seen and represented through Vita. 🥺💕
Not only does Vita teach us some great values, Silk, Arkady and Samuel each embody an attribute we should all inculcate in our lives! I love me a book that highlights its side characters and gives them closure too, and Katherine has executed this with sheer perfection!
Vita’s love for her grandfather, Jack and his love for Vita’s deceased grandmother show us the power of family and the extent we go to for the ones we love. A book that shows the power of family and friendship and seamlessly blends them together? Sign me up.
If you are looking for a fast-paced race against time that’s a battle of good vs evil and full of kind-hearted souls with a fierce conviction, you know which book to pick up next!