Cover image for The Thief Lord
Title:
The Thief Lord
Author:
Funke, Cornelia Caroline.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Herr der Diebe. English
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, 2002.

©2001
Physical Description:
349 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
Two brothers, having run away from the aunt who plans to adopt the younger one, are sought by a detective hired by their aunt, but they have found shelter with--and protection from--Venice's "Thief Lord."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
640 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 13.0 63446.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.9 20 Quiz: 30871 Guided reading level: V.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780439404372

9781606867846
Format :
Book

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Central Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
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Summary

Summary

An exciting, magical adventure set among the crumbling canals and ancient ruins of Venice, Italy.

Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious character who calls himself the "Thief Lord." Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo relish being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them, and readers, to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.


Author Notes

Author Cornelia Maria Funke was born in Dorsten, Germany on December 10, 1958. After graduating from the University of Hamburg, she worked as a social worker for three years. After completing a course in book illustration at the Hamburg State College of Design, she worked as a children's book illustrator and designed board games.

Her desire to draw magical worlds and her disappointment over the way some stories were written inspired her to write her own children's books. Her book, The Thief Lord, won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the best translated children's book of the year and the Book Sense Book of the Year Award. She has also received the Book Sense Children's Literature Award for Inkheart and Inkspell.

Funke has written numerous books including Dragon Rider, When Santa Fell to Earth, Igraine The Brave, Reckless, Saving Mississippi, Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath, Igraine the Brave, and The Princess Knight. Inkheart was adapted into a film. Cornelia Funke was voted into the Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2005.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-9. There are shards of wonderful stories in this ambitious narrative, but they don't quite cohere into a shimmering whole. That said, this is still a pretty nifty adventure set as brilliantly in its Venetian setting as a baroque pearl. Twelve-year-old Prosper and five-year-old Boniface cling to the stories their mother told them of Venice, with its winged lions and rooftop angels. After her death, they run away from Hamburg and their pinch-faced relatives to Venice, where a motley crew of children, living in an abandoned movie theatre, takes them in. The leader is Scipio, the Thief Lord, who directs the petty thievery and acts as older brother to the group. Victor, a gentle detective, has been hired to find the brothers, and he does so quickly, but is bemused by their ragtag family and is loathe to hand them over to the aunt. Funke beguiles young readers as she paints the city of Venice in exquisite strokes; the affection between the brothers is sweetly rendered. However, a fantasy element surfaces barely 100 pages from the end where it startles and distracts. It fits with the Venetian setting but not with the structure of the story. This German import is a popular choice in Europe. GraceAnne A. DeCandido


Publisher's Weekly Review

Wacky characters bring energy to this translation of an entertaining German novel about thieving children, a disguise-obsessed detective and a magical merry-go-round. After their mother dies, 12-year-old Prosper and his brother, Bo, five, flee from Hamburg to Venice (an awful aunt plans to adopt only Bo). They live in an abandoned movie theater with several other street children under the care of the Thief Lord, a cocky youth who claims to rob "the city's most elegant houses." A mysterious man hires the Thief Lord to steal a wooden wing, which the kids later learn has broken off a long-lost merry-go-round said to make "adults out of children and children out of adults," but the plan alters when Victor, the detective Aunt Esther hired to track the brothers, discovers their camp and reveals that the Thief Lord is actually from a wealthy family. There are a lot of story lines to follow, and the pacing is sometimes off (readers may feel that Funke spends too little time on what happens when the children find the carousel, and too much on the ruse they pull on Prosper's aunt). But between kindhearted Victor and his collection of fake beards, the Thief Lord in his mask and high-heeled boots, and a rascally street kid who loves to steal, Prosper's new world abounds with colorful characters. The Venetian setting is ripe for mystery and the city's alleys and canals ratchet up the suspense in the chase scenes. Ages 9-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-A popular German author makes a strong English-language debut with this tale of a group of orphaned and fugitive children trying to eke out a furtive existence on the watery "streets" of modern Venice. Funke brings together a large but not indigestible array of adults and children, several of whom, thanks to a bit of magic near the end, switch roles. To keep from being separated after their parents' death, young Prosper spirits his little brother Boniface to fabled Venice, which their mother had always described as a magical place. Quickly falling in with a trio of other orphans, presided over by Scipio, a masked lad who styles himself a master thief, the children become embroiled in a complex set of captures, escapes, squabbles, revelations, and subplots. At the end, they find not only an agreeable new home, but also literal proof of their city's magical reputation, for on a nearby island, an ancient, fragile carousel is found that can spin old people young, and vice versa. Funke delineates her characters and the changing textures of their relationships with masterful subtlety, as well as sometimes-puckish humor. It's a compelling tale, rich in ingenious twists, with a setting and cast that will linger in readers' memories.-John Peters, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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