Whenever I pick up a Katherine Rundell book I get that tingle of excitement, like a child on Christmas Eve. I’m always torn between diving straight in or holding back as there’s always that feeling of emptiness at finishing the read and then knowing you have to wait for her next offering.
Katherine Rundell immediately became one of my favourite authors after I read The Wolf Wilder. Working as a primary school teacher, I often hear, "I don't know what to read." For KS2 children, I will often point them in the direction of a Katherine Rundell book - Rooftoppers and The Wolf Wilder being my two favourites...that is until now.
Her most recent book, The Good Thieves, does not disappoint - it is middle-grade, adventure story-telling at its very best. A romp of an adventure about a ragtag quartet who set out to right a wrong. From the gritty streets of New York to the relic of Hudson Castle, the settings are described vividly and are brought to life by Rundell's rich use of vocabulary and her seamless construction of prose that are woven together so expertly. I loved the wonderfully eclectic mix of colourful characters; the villainous gangster, the pick-pocket, the wanna-be circus stars. The story is told through the eyes of main character Vita. She is a tough and determined girl who is very set on making things rights. Vita lives her life by the line from the first page of the book, "But it is not always sensible to be sensible."
I have become accustomed to Katherine Rundell’s books having a strong sense of friendship and strength among the characters. Despite their differences, the characters in Rundell’s stories teach the reader how true friends will always stand by you during the hardest times. When I read her books I feel like anything is possible, she fills me with self-belief and courage. In The Good Thieves, we learn to follow our own dreams even when others are pushing us in another direction. And how we should always stand up for what we believe is right and do everything we are able to to make sure justice prevails.
This book has everything for me - I love a good heist and this has book has this and so much more.
I write this review at a time of strict government quarantining around the world. If we have to be in quarantine, being quarantined inside Rundell’s imagination is a fine place to be.
Recommended for 9+.