Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finn, Daniel She Thief

Finn, Daniel She Thief
Feiwel&Friends/Macmillan 2010 295p 16.99
978-0-312-56330-1 jr/sr VG
Thieving is a precarious existence. It is imperative to have someone you trust at your back. When Baz and Demi steal a valuable ring, it becomes apparent that they have been set-up and betrayed.
Demi and Baz have been a team ever since Demi found young Baz abandoned in the Barrio of a gritty Latin American city. Demi brings Baz to Fay, an adult who shelters and trains a gang of child thieves. Eventually Baz become the lookout for Demi, a master pickpocket. A lucky theft of a valuable ring becomes the catalyst for a power struggle between the barrio’s crime lord and a newcomer who plots a barrio takeover. In a setting where it is imperative to have someone you trust at your back, it soon becomes apparent to Baz that she and Demi have been betrayed.

The plot is promising, but readers may experience some disappointment when no romance develops between Baz and Demi. The author dances around this situation, but nothing develops. Also, the use of dialect may detract from some readers’ enjoyment of the dialogue. The action sequences are the best parts of the book -- although the all-important ring theft does not take place until the reader has worked through several chapters.

This book appears to be a re-issue of “Two Good Thieves” the debut novel by the same author. The new title, “She Thief,” is misleading, as Baz is the lookout, not the thief (more of an accessory to the crime). The new cover is intended to appeal to an older teen audience than the original book.

Readers enjoying fights and chases will enjoy the gritty back street barrio action of this South American urban fiction. Welliver, Hilary
Barrio; Crime - fiction

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