Television can give us so much, except the time to think.
-- Bernice Buresh in Los Angeles Times

Elementary readersUpper elementary readersMiddle school readersHigh school readers
8 stars

The Thief

AR: 6
Lexile: 920
RC: 5.5
by Megan Whalen Turner
Long Picture Book
Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Original post — Sunday, August 6, 2006
<img src='../images/books/newberryaward2.gif' alt='Winner of the Newberry Honor' title='Winner of the Newberry Honor'> <img src='../images/books/alanotablebookaward.gif' alt='ALA Notable Book' title='ALA Notable Book for Children'><BR><img src='../images/

Gen is a 14-year-old who brags that he can steal anything! When he gets caught and placed into the king?s prison, the magus recruits him to steal a mysterious, possibly magical, hidden treasure from a neighboring land. So begins this highly original and entertaining adventure book that takes place in another world. Gen, the magus (the king?s scholar), a burly Guard named Pol, and two other boys that Gen calls Useless the Younger and Useless the Older all travel to a remote spot two kingdoms away. Along the way, they must sneak through towns, fight soldiers, and rescue one another more than once. When they finally reach their destination, Gen finds the task of stealing the object, a legendary stone that supposedly gives immortality to the recipient, much more difficult than anticipated. It is hidden in a mazelike series of tunnels underneath a river. Will he be able to find the stone, and if he does, will they be able to safely make it home when it was so hard to get there in the first place?

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was written in the first person point of view, and Gen is a very interesting character. We learn a lot about him, but he is smart enough to not give everything away, neither to his traveling companions nor to his readers. There is a twist in here that makes the story more interesting and the end more satisfying, but Gen didn't give it away, and neither will I! If you like adventure stories, especially Medieval or Greek and Roman myth adventures, then you will certainly like this one.

(Last modified:07/18/2008)

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