Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Good Thief

I had this book recommended by a co-worker.  I had seen it around a little bit but didn't know much about it. I didn't know what it was about at all, but found that the story quickly caught my attention. 

This is the story about a boy named Ren who lives at an East coast orphanage in the late 1800's.  He has been there for as long as he can remember, doesn't know anything about anything before he got there.  He is missing part of his hand, but again doesn't know why.  He knows his name is Ren because it was sewn on his clothes when he was put through the hole in the gate at the orphanage.  Frequently there are people who come through to adopt the boys, and one day Ren, inspite of his handicap, gets his chance to leave, although the circumstances are not what he has imagined.  Benjamin, the man who wanted him, lives a life unlike any Ren had expected and there are many harrowing adventures that make Ren question staying with him, except that he seems to know enough information to be able to let Ren know about the past he can't remember.

This book falls in line with the great Gothic tales it is meant to imitate.  I felt like I could be reading Robert Louis Stevenson or Mary Shelley.  The detail is perfectly matched with the pace of the plot and the twists that I just didn't expect.  It is very well written and an enchanting book as well.   The reading level isn't terribly difficult, but it does deal with some issues that probably would suit middle school and up.  I'm not sure if Tinti has written anything else, but I intend to find out.  If you are looking for a good book on topic for Halloween, this would be a great choice.

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