A Nest of Vipers by Catherine Johnson

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Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. The youngest member of a collective of pick pockets and con-artists in 18 Century London, Cato Hopkins appears at risk of paying penance with his life...


A Nest of Vipers by Catherine Johnson

Cato Hopkins is the youngest member of Mother Hopkins' 'family' - a group of skilled fraudsters and pickpockets. There's Addy, who can become a very convincing boy when she needs to; the beautiful Bella, who can charm any rich young man out of his fortune; Sam, an escaped slave and Cato himself, a young boy, who Mother Hopkins has taught everything she knows. But old age is slowing Mother Hopkins down, and she wants to carry out one last con, a con to outdo all the cons that have gone before. And so the gang set about bringing ruin upon Captain Walker, a proud and cruel slave captain, who deserves to be taught a lesson or two ...

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A characterful, page-turning drama and a vivid mixture of research and imagination -- Nicolette Jones The Sunday Times

A thoroughly engaging and entirely convincing yarn with a dash of Dickens and more than a hint of historic realism to help drive the thrust of the narrative -- Jake Hope Achuka

Full of adventure and excitement, unexpected plot twists and colourful characters, this book is both entertaining and enlightening Through the Looking Glass Twists and turns, mystery and mayhem together with fascinating details about 18th Century London. I found this a hugely exciting read -- Mary Hooper

This is an exciting read ... It's a good way of illustrating a period in an engaging way, and it does have a happy ending Write Away!

About the Author

Catherine Johnson was born in London. Her father is Jamaican and her mother, Welsh. After studying film at St. Martin's College, London, she started a family and began to write. Catherine has been Writer in Residence at Holloway Prison, Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the London Institute and has mentored writers in Africa for the British Council. She has written three books for Oxford University Press - Hero (2001) Stella (2002) and Face Value (2005). Catherine also co-wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed film, Bullet Boy, which starred Ashley Walters from So Solid Crew. Catherine lives in London.

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Book Info


224 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Catherine Johnson
More books by Catherine Johnson


Corgi Childrens an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

3rd April 2008




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