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THIEF OF DREAMS by Todd Strasser


by Todd Strasser

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23135-8
Publisher: Putnam

Left alone for a month, with an uncle he barely knows, Martin Hunter learns that not all is what it seems in this fast-paced second-person narrative. As an only child of disinterested, workaholic parents, Martin is used to being left alone, but this new development has him wishing for a more stable home life. Able to make the cut academically in school, even to excel, Martin is a social outcast. Slightly overweight and under tall, he is clumsy at sports and his status as nerd makes friends an unlikely possibility. When Uncle Lawrence moves in, Martin begins to suspect that his uncle’s interest in photography and astronomy might be a cover-up for something else. With the help of a voice-activated tape recorder and some old-fashioned snooping, Martin soon discovers that his uncle is a burglar and has been for many years. Caught between desiring the interest and approval of his nefarious uncle and the stable, if cold, home life that his parents provide, Martin is forced to take a hard look at morality and love. An amazing sacrifice by his uncle makes Martin an instant celebrity at school and forces his parents to make some important changes at home. Short chapters and a casual narrative style keep this mystery moving along, while a depth of character and the use of a second-person voice make this stand out from other selections. Richly layered and exciting. (Fiction 10-13)