Sunday, May 19, 2013

Book Review: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
first published in 2000 by Chicken House (scholastic)
Literary Awards:
Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children's Literature (2003)
Batchelder Award (2003)
Zilverren Griffel (2004)
Grand Canyon Reader Award for Teen Book (2004)
Massachussetts Children's Book Award (2005)
ALA Teens' Top Ten (2003)
Zurich Children's Book Award (2000)
The Children's Book Award from the Vienna House of Literature (2001)
Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader's Choice Award for Junior (2005)
My Rating:
Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy. Here, hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelters runaways and children with incredible secrets....

After escaping from their cruel aunt and uncle, orphans Prosper and Bo meet a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Clever and charming, The Thief Lord leads a band of street children who enjoy making mischief. But the Thief Lord also has a dark secret. And suddenly Prosper and Bo find themselves on a fantastical journey to a forgotten place. What they discover there will change the course of their destiny... forever.
 After their parents die and their Aunt expresses her wish to adopt the younger brother and send the older off to a boarding school, Prosper takes his little brother, Bo, and runs away to Venice, Italy where they befriend a small group of orphaned runaway children quite like themselves and end up living in an abandoned movie theater. The 'leader' of this little rag-tag group of kids is 'The Thief Lord', a boy who wears a mask and claims to be the best thief in the city.

Overall I thought this book was pretty mediocre. I think children would love it because they would identify with it a whole lot better than I did. What child doesn't want to run away and live in a fantastical city like Venice and live completely up to their own devices?
Sometimes the most amazing thing about a book is the setting. In some rare cases, if you haven't yet read a book in a particular setting, and the author paints a beautiful picture of it with words, it makes it all the more magical. Discovering a city that you will probably never go to through the wonders of literature is a true gift. I've read very little set in Venice, Italy even though I know it is a grand city and is on my bucket list of places to go before I die.

So while I found the story itself to be rather boring, I did somewhat enjoy it. :)

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