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The Good Thieves

Written by Katherine Rundell

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The Good Thieves Review

Adventure Stories Crime / Mystery Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers

Beautifully written and full of scenes that both thrill and enchant, The Good Thieves is Rundell at her classy best.

Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021

After stories set in jungles and on the Russian steppes, Katherine Rundell has chosen the streets of Prohibition New York for her latest, but it’s just as full of the sense of peril and freedom from rules that characterises her earlier books, with central character Vita facing possibly the greatest danger yet. Newly arrived from England, Vita is determined to win back her family home, the fabulous Hudson Castle, acquired from her grandfather in a distinctly shady way by mob boss Victor Sorrotore. This will involve breaking and entering – and legend has it the castle is impregnable – and safe cracking, but Vita is fortunate enough to have as associates an extremely talented pickpocket and two fearless young circus performers. Rundell revels in setting her characters these kind of challenges and also in exploring the kind of physical and mental daring required to undertake them. She likes to equip her protagonists with right and with love too, the latter proves a formidable weapon for Vita.  Beautifully written and full of scenes that both thrill and enchant, The Good Thieves is Rundell at her classy best.

Readers who are captivated by Katherine Rundell’s wild children will also enjoy Stop the Train or The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean, or books by classic children’s writers such as Joan Aiken and Eva Ibbotson.

Andrea Reece

The Good Thieves Synopsis

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.

The Good Thieves Press Reviews

An amazing adventure story, told with sparkling style and sleight of hand - Jacqueline Wilson

The Good Thieves is a story-telling spectacle - it glitters with adventure, family, friendship, and an irresistible sprinkling of impossibility - Catherine Doyle, author of The Storm Keeper's Island

A new Katherine Rundell book is always an event, but this is another triumph and then some. A wickedly exciting heist with heart, I can but marvel at this new delight from one of my favourite storytellers ever - Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink & Stars

I love the way Katherine puts Impossible on hold while she tells her wild, warm, shimmering stories - Hilary McKay, author of The Skylarks' War

Likely to be the best children's book you'll read this year  The Times Children's Book of the Week

Rundell is the real deal, a writer of boundless gifts and extraordinary imaginative power whose novels will be read, cherished and reread long after most so-called serious novels are forgotten  Observer 

The Good Thieves is a story-telling spectacle - it glitters with adventure, family, friendship, and an irresistible sprinkling of impossibility  Catherine Doyle, author of The Storm Keeper's Island 


Lights a spark in your heart from the very first line and sets it blazing with danger, daring, high-wire thrills and a vivid, unstoppable spirit of love and hope. I adored it  Lauren St John, author of the Laura Marlin Mysteries

Another satisfying instalment in Rundell's ongoing saga of adventure and derring-do. Filled with all the tension, justice and excitement you expect from her, The Good Thieves doesn't put a foot wrong, as it plots and plans, twists and turns, flies and falls as Vita and her gang plot the heist of the decade, on the side of good  A. F. Harrold, author of The Afterwards 

Praise for The Explorer;

Rundell is now unarguably in the first rank - Philip Pullman

Rundell is a class act - The Times

One of our most talented writers for children - Observer

I cannot imagine the child who wouldn't be delighted by it - Independent

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408882658
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781408854891
Publication date: 13/06/2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408882658
Publication date: 3rd September 2020
Author: Katherine Rundell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Crime / Mystery

About Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell spent her childhood in Africa and Europe and is now a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where she works on Renaissance literature. She is the bestselling author of The Girl Savage, Rooftoppers, The Wolf Wilder and The Explorer. She won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award in 2014, and the Costa Children's Book Award in 2018. Her writing – mostly on books, but also on climbing, on art and on wolves – has appeared in the London Review of Books, The New York Times, the Telegraph and Intelligent ...

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