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CAT BURGLAR BLACK by Richard Sala

CAT BURGLAR BLACK

By Richard Sala (Author) , Richard Sala (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59643-144-7
Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

Sala usually aims his pulpy gothics at older teens and adults, but here he tries for a younger audience. The art is far more finished than the sketchy plot. Trained since childhood by Fagin-esque Mother Claude to be a thief, teenage K. is dispatched to a supposed girls’ school in a creepy mansion surrounded by dark woods and, along with a trio of fellow “students,” breaks into three nearby houses to steal paintings that contain clues to a pirate treasure buried nearby. Filling in the back story requires so much explanation that swollen dialogue balloons nearly fill some of the cartoon panels, but the contrast between the hulking and misshapen adult nogoodniks in the cast and the four slim, leggy teens adds retro charm to a tale well stocked with menacing characters, mysterious voices, rococo hazards and atmospheric shadows. Expect sequels. (Graphic fiction. 10-12)