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HIGHWAY ROBBERY by Kate Thompson Kirkus Star


by Kate Thompson and illustrated by Robert Dress

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-173034-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

An unnamed young lad, called a guttersnipe and clearly an urchin with few resources except his considerable wits, recounts recent events to an unknown audience he calls “Sir.” Hungry, cold and penniless, our raconteur tells of being in the right place at the right time to be promised a guinea for holding onto a horse’s reins. As sundry passersby try to gain amusement and profit from his circumstances, our young lad keeps hold of reins and hopes and tries to gain some small advantage for himself. This short chapter book with plentiful pen-and-ink drawings supplied by Dress, large font and lines spaced apart for easy reading is just the thing for those leaving early readers behind and wanting fast-paced action, dry humor and an ending that leaves room for discussion. References to Dick Turpin and Black Bess place this in the early 18th century, but it hardly matters, as our narrator’s reliability is as slippery as the famous highwayman himself. The fun is in guessing at the truth while always hoping for his success. (Historical fiction. 8-12)