Stealing Castles in The Good Thieves | Spoiler-Free Review

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction, Adventure
Author: Katherine Rundell
Published: June 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 336 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

As always, another dazzling and brilliant novel from my favourite middle-grade author. This story is full of adventure, bravery and a circus! Not to be missed.

The Good Thieves

In this story we follow a group of children on a mission to pull off a heist to steal back a castle. Whew, what a premise. It’s full of adventure, clever planning and childish delights, as is to be expected from any book written by Rundell.

Set not long after WWII, our main character Vita finds herself in New York (coming from England) after she and her mother receive bad news from her grandfather. He has lost his family home after being cheated out of it through some clever trickery by a tycoon.

They’ve voyaged over the sea to try and bring him back to live with them. But Vita is outraged by this injustice and through friends she meets at a circus and on the streets, she gathers together a hoard of children who are determined to break in and take back what is theirs.

Why You Need to Read This

If you haven’t read a Rundell book before then WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I’ve read just about all her books by now and was THRILLED to receive this one. I read it quickly, and proudly flourished the illustrated pages on the train whilst real adults wondered curiously what a twenty-something year old was doing with a children’s book.

There’s something nostalgic and beautiful about every single one of Rundell’s books. They enchant me. The fierce innocence of her characters and sheer childish glee of the random missions and tasks the children set for themselves are things I imagined for myself as a child.

Vita’s journey, hampered by her crippled leg as a lasting effect of Polio, was just as amazing as the others. Her determination to make her grandfather happy again – such a simple motive, yet one you can’t go wrong with – and her bravery to do something an adult wouldn’t do, was gorgeous.

When you add in a circus to the story, you’ve hooked me. And Vita befriends two boys who live and work in a Russian circus. These were such a nice way to spice up the story with some diverse characters who brought random yet fantastic traits to the table. The street urchin we meet was also a great addition to this little gang.


This is a book to be enjoyed for the fun and adventure. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone of all ages. Rundell is an author who should be a staple on your shelf. These are the kind of stories we need on rainy days or days where we need cheering up, to remind ourselves that the world is a bit magical after all.

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Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~


6 thoughts on “Stealing Castles in The Good Thieves | Spoiler-Free Review

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