The Good Thieves

The Good Thieves

“A dazzling tale of wild hope, lingering grief, admirable self-sufficiency, and intergenerational adoration.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Vita tests her own limits, and readers will thrill at her cleverness, tenacity, and close escapes.” —Booklist “A satisfying adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews From award-winning author Katherine Rundell comes a fast-paced, sharp-turning, and utterly thrilling adv—Kirkus—Publishers...

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Title:The Good Thieves
Author:Katherine Rundell
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Good Thieves Reviews

  • Stephanie

    I've always found Katherine Rundell's writing beautiful, but her upcoming MG book The Good Thieves hits a whole new level - it's just dazzlingly good! I love fierce, vibrant Vita (even when I cringed at some of her very believable decisions) and the band of friends she gathers for a perilous heist in 1930s New York, and I found their peril genuinely terrifying. The setting is rich and fun, and the plot is incredibly compulsive - it just rockets breathlessly along. I loved it all the way!

  • Rebekah

    Now THIS was a Katherine Rundell book. A fully real place, brilliantly shining characters and a desperate and twisting adventure of a plot make The Good Thieves another reason for Katherine Rundell being one of my favourite authors.

    Rundell always has a clear picture of the place her story is set in–Africa, Paris, Russia, the Amazon, and now New York. As always, I could taste, smell, feel where the characters are and what they are doing. The coffee and the ketchup, the subway and the

    Now THIS was a Katherine Rundell book. A fully real place, brilliantly shining characters and a desperate and twisting adventure of a plot make The Good Thieves another reason for Katherine Rundell being one of my favourite authors.

    Rundell always has a clear picture of the place her story is set in–Africa, Paris, Russia, the Amazon, and now New York. As always, I could taste, smell, feel where the characters are and what they are doing. The coffee and the ketchup, the subway and the taxis, the rushing streets and Carnegie Hall all contributed to a vibrant setting that is as much a character as any of the people.

    And the people that walk these pages are exceptional. I actually didn't love the characters in Rundell's previous book. In fact, I only really liked one person in The Explorer and I felt that she wasn't given a chance to shine, so I was pleased when I felt that she came back in this book as a slightly different character that is in her element.

    She is one of four exceptional children on which the narrative is focused, and while they are all fantastic in their own right, they share three qualities: all four have distinct talents, personalities and difficulties, all four are people I wish I could know in real life and all four have courage and resilience that take my breath away.

    In addition, Rundell's adults are realistic characters with understandable fears and problems along with admirable forbearance and love for the children in their care. And the animals are, as always, funny and smart and a perfect complement to the story.

    Finally, the plot. Rundell's books don't often have me on the edge of my seat, but there was a time while reading The Good Thieves where I was extremely concerned (a.k.a. freaking out) because of this one worrying incident . . . but it is expertly made right in a completely unforeseen twist. Katherine Rundell never leaves the reader disappointed at the end of a book (thank goodness), but there was certainly the grim possibility of a broken heart towards the end. Thankfully this did not come to pass, so I can easily give The Good Thieves five stars!

  • Gayatri Saikia

    Review : The good thieves by Katherine Rundell is a tale that emanates hope, determination, compassion and above all the message that nothing is impossible if you put your heart to it.

    Vita our protagonist is one, amazing spirit who vows to bring back the lost smile of her grandfather after, his castle where he spent all his life and on which all his fond memories embed is snatched away by the evil Sorrotore, our ruthless villain. She builds her unusual and unconventional troupe with

    Review : The good thieves by Katherine Rundell is a tale that emanates hope, determination, compassion and above all the message that nothing is impossible if you put your heart to it.

    Vita our protagonist is one, amazing spirit who vows to bring back the lost smile of her grandfather after, his castle where he spent all his life and on which all his fond memories embed is snatched away by the evil Sorrotore, our ruthless villain. She builds her unusual and unconventional troupe with the likes of Silk,a pick pocket who is an orphan; Arkady, who is mesmerized by animals and birds and vice versa. Samuel, her third band member is an aspiring gymnast who also has his own hidden secret.

    I will do it for the glory! We'll go down in history - like Robin Hood! The Good Thieves.

    -  Arkady.

    The Good Thieves is a story of friendship and the battle of good against evil. It is humorous, witty and fast paced. I cannot emphasize enough on how Katherine Rundell has perfectly represented the character of Vita, a disabled but iron willed polio survivor. She has amazing planning skills and is not one to be messed with. The glam and glitz of the 1930's New York circus is vividly narrated and we get to see how Vita, is drawn by it. Vita's exceptional love for her family is something that took my heart away. Silk, as a character has more sharp edges than Vita, owing to how she has fended herself ever since her parents demise. Arkady, in my opinion was soft spoken and the kind who could never even imagine to hurt a fly. Samuel, on the other hand fights for his passion and is a true example of following your dreams.

    The best defense when you have done something wrong is anger.

    - Silk

    I opine that middle graders especially could learn a lot from this absolutely unputdownable adventure story in terms of the versatile characters that are drastically different from each other but complete paradigm in every sense.

    THE GOOD THIEVES by KATHERINE RUNDELL is an adventured to be embarked upon and enjoyed both by children, middle graders and adults alike.

  • Camilla Chester

    I was lucky enough to meet Katherine Rundell and get a signed copy of this fabulous book when she was giving a talk about the importance of adults reading children's literature. Preaching to the converted with me, being a Children's Author myself, but a very good talk.

    It was extra special for me to meet Katherine as in her role as a Competition Judge, she has twice picked my writing out of the masses.

    Anyway, onto my thoughts: The Good Thieves.

    In short, LOVED IT!

    I have to

    I was lucky enough to meet Katherine Rundell and get a signed copy of this fabulous book when she was giving a talk about the importance of adults reading children's literature. Preaching to the converted with me, being a Children's Author myself, but a very good talk.

    It was extra special for me to meet Katherine as in her role as a Competition Judge, she has twice picked my writing out of the masses.

    Anyway, onto my thoughts: The Good Thieves.

    In short, LOVED IT!

    I have to admit that I've loved all of her books, but I think this is my fav. Mainly because it's so completely thrilling without for one moment dropping the quality in the writing.

    We follow Vita, our hero, scarred from polio, desperate to right a terrible injustice. Her grandfather's castle has been conned from him by a NY Gangster. In order to save the castle, Vita has to recruit an acrobat, an animal trainer and a locksmith to stage a heist to steal back an emerald, stashed within the castle walls. A fantastic David and Goliath story that had me gripped, with the backdrop of 1930s NY - pure joy. Extra nice to see a physically disabled character in a book that is not the villain.

    Not only a ripping yarn, but also beautifully and skilfully done; it was like reading a song.

  • Simant ♥ Flipping Through the Pages

    I love reading middle-grade fiction once in a while and the books like

    make that experience even richer. This was my first book by

    and surely it won’t be the last. I loved her writing and storytelling. I was instantly interested in the story from the first page to the last.

    It had nice story build-up, good action scenes, a group of determined and dreamy kids, a villain and/>Actual

    I love reading middle-grade fiction once in a while and the books like

    make that experience even richer. This was my first book by

    and surely it won’t be the last. I loved her writing and storytelling. I was instantly interested in the story from the first page to the last.

    It had nice story build-up, good action scenes, a group of determined and dreamy kids, a villain and a circus. Basically,

    for the readers of that age group.

    🎪

    She comes to New York after his grandfather Jack was cheated by an evil man, Sorrotore, and he took his beloved castle where her grandfather spent all his life. She vows to bring back the precious emerald stone, which belonged to her grandmother, hidden in that castle. But she can’t do this alone so

    Vita, with all three of them, embarks upon a journey to find the hidden gem and to return to his grandfather what he had lost.

    🎪

    She was fierce, brave, strong and vibrant. She had excellent planning and aiming skills.

    🎪

    Each of them had different personalities. Arkady was an animal tamer, kind to birds & animals. Samuel was an acrobat. He wanted to fly around the trapeze. And Silk? Ahh, I loved how fierce she was. She was an orphan who turned out to be a lockpicker and pickpocket.

    🎪

    It was a time when prohibition was in act in New York and live travelling circuses were popular. Mobsters ruled the streets.

    has perfectly used all these things as a perfect backdrop for her story.

    🎪 The book is really

    Because of this fast pace, the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat till the end. I was living the adventure of that group throughout the pages.

    Overall,

    is a story about

    It is a story of good against evil. It will excite as well as humor you. There is a

    . I am sure they would enjoy this story which is full of adventures and amazing and versatile characters. Actually, I am sure that adults would enjoy it as well. It was really an adventurous ride for me.

  • Belle

    From time to time, I read a middle grade book and my book choice this time has been "The good thieves". This is my first book by Katherine Rundell and her writing is absolutely beautiful.

    Vita's grandfather, Jack has been cheated by a gang and they have taken his home. Vita seeing his granddad sad and broken, wants to do something to make him happy again. With the help of 3 people, she plans to get his home back.

    Vita is fierce, brave and strong. Her planning and aiming skills are amazing.

    From time to time, I read a middle grade book and my book choice this time has been "The good thieves". This is my first book by Katherine Rundell and her writing is absolutely beautiful.

    Vita's grandfather, Jack has been cheated by a gang and they have taken his home. Vita seeing his granddad sad and broken, wants to do something to make him happy again. With the help of 3 people, she plans to get his home back.

    Vita is fierce, brave and strong. Her planning and aiming skills are amazing. She's determined too. She's one of the strongest female characters. The gang of friends are unique in their own way. There are 2 guys, Arkady (being kind to birds & animals) & Samuel(gymnastic) and a girl named Silk (lockpicker). I love the way their friendship started and traveled.

    How can there be no bad guy? There comes Sorrotore. He is a suitable evil-villain candidate. Being the opportunistic sick person, he makes the life of people difficult and also doesn't give a damn about other people.

    The author even described about the circus, castle and places in the setting which has added more charm to the story. I love the relationship between the grandfather and the grandkid.

    The book setting is brilliant and the story is perfectly paced. It holds the suspense element till the end. It's been a wonderful adventure ride for me. Highly recommended.

    P.S. One of the prettiest ARCs I've seen. It's so shiny.

  • Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

    – so basically it had all the makings of what could end up being one of the most enjoyable books in recent times. (Spoiler Alert: It did!)

    – so basically it had all the makings of what could end up being one of the most enjoyable books in recent times. (Spoiler Alert: It did!)

    it is her grandfather who looses everything to a crooked businessman. It is she who comes up with a plan to hoodwink the villain and it is her, who brings together a team of quirky and peculiar group of children to makes sure her plan bear fruit.

    and yes this plot contains magic as well as some of the most brilliantly quirky characters I have had the pleasure of meeting.

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  • Hastha Chand

    Title: The Good Thieves

    Author: Katherine Rundell

    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    Genre: Middle grade

    The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell is a middle-grade novel filled with action, adventure, fun, hope, friendship and all. The story takes off with our protagonist Vita Marlowe who was on her way from Liverpool to Newyork with her mother Julia to meet her grandfather Jack who had been cheated out of his ancestral home by a greedy Newyork millionaire Victor Sorrotore. On seeing t

    Title: The Good Thieves

    Author: Katherine Rundell

    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    Genre: Middle grade

    The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell is a middle-grade novel filled with action, adventure, fun, hope, friendship and all. The story takes off with our protagonist Vita Marlowe who was on her way from Liverpool to Newyork with her mother Julia to meet her grandfather Jack who had been cheated out of his ancestral home by a greedy Newyork millionaire Victor Sorrotore. On seeing the injustice done to her grandfather, Vita was determined to set things right. So she devises a plan to outwit her enemy (Sorrotore) along with her newly found friends Arkady (an animal tamer), Samuel (a trapeze artist) and Silk (a lockpicker). Together the four set on an adventure to reclaim Hudson Castle from the evil hands of Sorrotore.

    Rundell had so vividly presented the 1930’s New york. I liked the setting and the narration. What I loved most about this book were the characters. Vita Marlowe was one of the strongest female protagonists I have ever read in fiction. Rundell had very strongly registered a message through Vita’s character that with determination anything is possible despite the physical disabilities. Samuel’s character had set an example that with dedication and hard work one would be able to achieve his/her dream despite the limitations. More than the plot, I liked the moral this book carries. Overall, reading Rundell’s writing was an absolute pleasure.

    My rating: 4/5

    Thank you so much Bloomsbury India for the gorgeous ARC of The Good Thieves!

  • Max Lau  • Maxxesbooktopia

    First of all, I thought the writing style for both ‘The Wolf Wilder’ and ‘The Good Thieves’ were beautifully crafted. It seemed effortless for the author to string sentences together as the whole novel is filled with seamless prose and if you are looking for an

    First of all, I thought the writing style for both ‘The Wolf Wilder’ and ‘The Good Thieves’ were beautifully crafted. It seemed effortless for the author to string sentences together as the whole novel is filled with seamless prose and if you are looking for an example, try reading the quote that I had placed above of this sentence. I have loved the style of her writing and the technique she used to string sentences and words together ever since I read ‘The Wolf Wilder’. The author does not concoct extra information just to prolong the novel or string more sentences together to hit a goal or something, she gives the information so impeccably that everything seems necessary. In addition, I thought the descriptions that she had given in the novel were perfectly measured as it felt so real in my brain that I could touch it, virtually. Speaking of descriptions and feeling it virtually, this brings us to the next point: The Atmosphere.

    The atmosphere of this novel is a mixture of comedic relief, hatred and anger. It is facetious because of the constant banter between the characters and the arguments seem to never end which I, at times, found myself laughing at the exchange of words between them. Hatred and anger come into play due to certain characters doing nasty businesses and I thought the author did a good job at extracting our emotions out from our body and let it diffuse into the atmosphere. Thus, I admired the crafting of the atmosphere made by the author.

    The pacing of the novel is uprightly one of the most astounding items that is being placed in the book as it moves in a rapid manner and this is due to how addictive the plot is in which I will talk more about later on. The plot has an addictive quality to it and this gives the book an advantage as readers will carry on with the novel without ceasing as they would like to find out more about what is going to happen to the characters. To compare it with ‘The Wolf Wilder’, I thought ‘The Good Thieves’ was traversed better than it because I can sense vacillation at certain localities in ‘The Wolf Wilder’ that took me out of the context of the story and the ending for it was hastened like it was elbowing me laboriously out of the house or in this case, the book. Therefore, ‘The Good Thieves’ granted me a better impression than ‘The Wolf Wilder’ will ever remit.

    In order to properly review the characters, I am going to split the protagonist and the side characters into sections to enunciate my feelings on each one of them. Please take note that I will not analyse the antagonists of the novel as I do not want to pillage the plot of the book to you. Thus, we shall begin:-

    1) Vita: I do not actually know how to review our protagonist without sounding like a broken record. Well, here goes nothing. She is smart and skilled in throwing weaponry with perfect precision. I enjoyed reading about her scheme to take her grandfather’s castle back from the antagonist and her marvellous plots and plans.  

    2) Arkady & Samuel: Their characters are not well-developed but I enjoyed the constant banter that Arkady gives to his other teammates and friends. Both Arkady & Samuel have a beautiful friendship and both of them aspire to be something else and they chase after their dream and that is a very heart-warming thing to read about. 

    3) Silk: I enjoyed the glimpse-through backstory that the author has bestowed upon her but her character is, again, not well-developed and therefore, I cannot really comment on her characterisation. If I were to rectify a part of this book, I will definitely give a thorough background story for Arkady, Samuel and Silk characterisation because I thought it was extremely important to give backbones to your characters. 

    However, there were plot holes and specific precincts in the novel that I found highly unbelievable. For example, on page 17, chapter 3, I do not know how Vita manages to find the antagonist of the novel because New York is freaking huge, how can she just randomly find him through a ‘car ride?’ and trust me there are more unbelievable instances such as the ending. [Spoiler] How can all of them make it out in one piece, unscratched? 

    Lastly, topics like racism are touched on in this novel but not really explored which disappointed me because this could be the very first children novel that includes important topics such as racism in but it will, unfortunately, be marked as a missed opportunity as the outcome of the novel did not explore it much.

    In conclusion, I am proffering this novel 75% (A-) as I enjoyed it immensely although it has certain flaws and thus, the rating.

    ⇛ This book is currently available at all good bookstores. Do give it a try!

  • Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

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    Reading this book made me remember some of the middle grade adventure stories I consumed as a young kid, penned by authors such as Bruce Coville, Eva Ibbotson, and Roald Dahl. Even though it's clearly written for a young audience, the writing doesn't condescend and it has a great vocabulary, so it ends up being the type of story that virtually anyone can enjoy.

    Vita is from impoverished nobility and all that remains of their lineage is their name and a castle-- a castle that has left their posse

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    Reading this book made me remember some of the middle grade adventure stories I consumed as a young kid, penned by authors such as Bruce Coville, Eva Ibbotson, and Roald Dahl. Even though it's clearly written for a young audience, the writing doesn't condescend and it has a great vocabulary, so it ends up being the type of story that virtually anyone can enjoy.

    Vita is from impoverished nobility and all that remains of their lineage is their name and a castle-- a castle that has left their possession because of an evil land developer named Sorrotore who claims that her grandfather, perhaps suffering from dementia, has sold him the castle for a paltry $200. In the words of school-yard bullies everywhere, he tells them gleefully, "No take-backsies." Vita is filled with fury aimed at this man, who is taking advantage of her ailing, heartbroken grandfather. The home was filled with memories of his late, beloved wife, and now he has only Vita to remember her by, Vita who has her smile--

    --and her determination.

    Since the law isn't handling it, Vita decides to take the castle back by force. She ends up enlisting the help of some other kids, including a bird-tamer, an acrobat, and a thief. Their plan is to storm the castle and steal the emerald necklace her grandfather hid in one of the rooms many years ago. If they can get it, they'll have the funds they need to hire a good lawyer and prove once and for all that this whole thing was just the scam of a petty conman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

    This reminded me a lot of

    and I think it would make a good Pixar movie, to be honest. It has everything I love in kids' books: fast-paced adventure, a strong heroine, and friendship. I also loved Vita's grandfather: his love for his wife and his family radiated off the pages. I could see why he inspired Vita to do what she did. That isn't always the case in these types of books, and that emptiness of emotion can make it hard to suspend one's disbelief. Not the case here, though. I felt it.

    The only thing that made me raise an eyebrow was the use of the word "Latinx" to describe a character who appears once. I get and support wanting to be respectful, but this book takes place in what I suspect is the 1920s due to the references to Polio and speakeasies, and I think there are ways to describe someone with respect that don't come across as glaringly anachronistic.

    If you enjoy middle grade novels and adventure stories, THE GOOD THIEVES is a great choice. I grabbed it on a whim knowing that it might be too young for me, and ended up really enjoying it.

    3 to 3.5 stars

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