Author: Cornelia Funke
It’s About: A group of young orphans living together in an abandoned movie theatre in Venice, Italy, enjoy the independence of an adult-free life until the stakes are suddenly raised when they accept a back-alley job to steal an artifact in hopes of securing financial freedom for themselves. Awaiting them, however, are big risks, grownup decisions, and results that aren’t exactly what they were expecting.
I Thought: This was a fun fantasy/adventure story set in a lovely place that allowed my imagination to wander as much as the main characters’. Who among us hasn’t imagined life without adults or grownup decisions? The Thief Lord permits us to indulge our best memories of running away as children and doing something about it, while not making every adult into a bad guy. I loved the closeness of the children and their determination to stick by one another, no matter what. They had become their own family, albeit odd, and to the very end stayed committed to their relationships above all else. I also appreciated that there were two notable and trustworthy adults, who showed sincere interest in the well-being of this band of six children, and do everything in their power to build trust with the untrusting young people. I especially enjoyed the character of Ida Spavento, who was as much a child at heart as the children, themselves.
Mrs. Funke tells a wonderful story, but threads some important life lessons into the pages without you realizing it. Before The Thief Lord ends you will be subconsciously questioning whether or not the age at which you find yourself today is how you find joy in life, or given the choice, would you change it?
Verdict: We enjoyed the audio version of this book, and it was a fun and quick read for our jaunts about town. There was nothing too deep or engaging that we couldn’t pick up where we left off easily enough. This is a fun read, even for younger (age 7 and up) children, but I would read together as there are some intense scenes for the younger readers.
Reading Recommendation: Age 7 and up