Posted by: Ms. Matson | June 25, 2010

The Thief

The Thief
Megan Whalen Turner
New York: HarperCollins, 1996
Genre: Middle grade adventure fantasy
Interest level: Age 10+
AR level: 6.0
Awards: Newbery Honor book in 1997

After seeing this book and its sequels praised on many blogs I finally got around to reading it.  I absolutely loved it!  The praise and the Newbery Honor medal are well-deserved.  I couldn’t put The Thief down.

Here’s the brief summary from the back of the book:

“’I can steal anything.’ After Gen’s bragging lands him in the king’s prison, the chances of escape look slim.  Then the king’s scholar, the magus, needs the thief’s skill for a seemingly impossible task—to steal a hidden treasure from another land. To the magus, Gen is just a tool.  But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.”

Megan Whalen Turner has done a superb job creating a fantasy world mixed with Greek and invented mythology.  The story is well-written and well-paced with a strong vocabulary, excellent character development, and vivid descriptions.  When Gen is inside the temple, it is easy to imagine the cool feel of the marble walls, the sound of water trickling over stone, and the creak of the heavy doors as Gen pushed back.  Turner writes in a way that makes you feel like a participant, not an observer

However, the best part of The Thief is the twist at the end – when the pieces of the adventure fall together and you learn the real story.  It makes you want to read it all over again to look for all the little clues.  And I think I will.  Then I’ll read the rest of the series (The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and the most recent book, A Conspiracy of Kings).

The Thief is definitely a book I want to have in my classroom.

Mark another book off for the TwentyTen reading challenge.  I’m counting The Thief in the Bad Blogger’s category.  I first heard of it from Book Aunt, though I can’t find the exact post at the moment.

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