I finished reading The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. I liked this book much better than Funke's book, Inkheart. Five-year-old Bo and twelve-year-old Prosper are two brothers on the run from their Aunt and Uncle, the Hartliebs, who only want to adopt little Bo and leave Prosper to a life of foster homes. The brothers are unwilling to be separated, and go to Venice, a magical city their mother loved.
The boys soon encounter The Thief Lord, a thirteen-year-old named Scipio, who helps them and other runaways, even though he cannot help himself. The Hartliebs commission Victor Getz, a detective, to locate Bo. Add to this story a young girl named Hornet, who loves to read; Riccio and Mosca, young boys who are anxious to prove themselves able to The Thief Lord; stealing from the rich to survive; an interesting assignment; a couple of kind hearted adults; and a dishonest antiques dealer named Barbarossa...and you've got an interesting Oliver Twist/Robin Hood type storyline.
Cornelia Funke is a German author, and I'm wondering whether something is lost in the translation. Especially since Cornelia Funke is an award winning author. While I enjoyed reading The Thief Lord and liked the characters, I found the plot and pacing disappointing at times. So I'm wondering, is it the translation, the book, or my reading tastes? Hmmm.
I put The Thief Lord on my list, since I think children will enjoy the adventures in this book and imagining what it would be like to answer to no one but themselves. Children ages 9-12 will probably appreciate the book the most.