Funke, Cornelia. The thief lord.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Tr. by Oliver Latsch. Scholastic, The Chicken House. 345p. map. c2000.0-439-40437-1. $16.95. J

This novel about runaways in Venice, Italy, has been a best seller in Germany and has won literary prizes there and in Austria and Switzerland. It isn't really a YA novel, but is instead a sometimes demanding children's book, filled with adventure and a bit of magic. It's demanding because it's rather long and filled with details about Venice, which may be hard for many middle school students. Still, I'm sure there will be students in 5th through 8th grade who will appreciate the European nature of the story. There are many characters, and the adults are nearly as well realized as the children (an odd circumstance in children's literature). One main character is a miserable rich boy whose father either ignores him or demands too much of him So Scipio--the Thief Lord--makes his life more exciting by befriending a group of children who are homeless runaways. Scipio finds them a place to stay in an abandoned cinema. Included in the runaways are two brothers...

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