Journey back in time to 1920s New York in this thrilling new book by Katherine Rundell, full of treasure, heists and a group of kids who’ll do anything to right a wrong.

Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack’s spirit broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she comes up with
a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home. 

She teams up with a young pick-pocket working the streets of the city. And two boys with highly unusual skills and secrets of their own are about are soon pulled into Vita’s lawless, death-defying plan.

MEET THE AUTHOR: KATHERINE RUNDELL

Hi Katherine! Your newest novel The Good Thieves features circus performers. How did you research the characters?

The Good Thieves was one of my favourite novels to research – it’s about heists and law-breaking and wild daring, and the circus becomes part
of the crime. The four children in the group that carry out the heist are an animal-whisperer, a pick-pocket, a trapeze artist, and a girl with a
plan. I took lessons in the flying trapeze, so that I would know the details – things like which bits of you ache, or how the bar feels against your skin. And I can tell you it is the most amazing sensation – dropping through the air, and reaching out for someone’s hands as you fall. I loved it.

Wowee! Each book you’ve written is set in a totally different location. Do you always spend time in a place before writing about it? 

I do! I went to the Amazon rainforest, and swam in the tributaries of the Amazon river with pink wild river dolphins for The Explorer – and I’ve spent quite a lot of time in New York for The Good Thieves, searching for
its strangest and most beautiful spots – like the New York City Library, with the stone lions outside its front steps. 

As someone who usually travels a lot how have you been finding lockdown? 

Lockdown has been hard, but I have real faith that it won’t last forever – and that, perhaps, we might be able to snatch some good from it, and learn new ways of treating the world. 

Where are you most looking forward to visiting once travel restrictions ease? 

The place I miss most is Zimbabwe, where I spent part of my childhood, and where my parents live. As soon as I can, I would love to be back there, among the bougainvillea flowers, lizards and huge skies.

We’ve heard that you start each day by doing a cartwheel! Is this true?

Ha! That was true, yes, but a long time ago. I now live in such a tiny flat that if I did a cartwheel I’d hit the wall. 

Why did you do it?!

It was a way of waking up – once you’ve turned upside-down, you’re unlikely to want to climb back into bed! 

Haha, great idea! You’re judging a new writing competition (below)! What will you be looking for? 

I love writing that really captures the voice of the person writing – we all think differently, which is a spectacular and important thing, and so it makes sense that we would all use language differently. So be yourself!

Travel the world in four brilliant books!

Katherine’s characters go on incredible adventures all over the world. Let’s take a closer look at the locations her books explore…

New York

Somersault through 1920s New York with Vita in The Good Thieves.

New York City  is home to over  8 million people with backgrounds from all over the world. It’s thought that more than 80 different languages are spoken there

The famous sculpture that welcomes sea-going travellers to New York City, the Statue of Liberty, was actually gifted to America by France in 1886. Its official name is Liberty Enlightening the World.

PARIS

Dance the rooftops of Paris with Sophie in Rooftoppers.

The Eiffel Tower was built for the World’s Fair in 1889. Many people thought it was ugly and it was meant to be dismantled after 20 years. But 131 years later, it attracts 7 million visitors a year!

An estimated 10 billion baguettes are eaten by the French each year. To commemorate their love for these tasty loaves, Paris holds an annual competition to crown the best baguette in the city. Yum!

THE AMAZON

Explore the depths of the Amazon with Fred in The Explorer.

Around 400-500 indigenous tribes call the Amazon rainforest home. It’s believed that about 50 of these tribes have never had contact with the outside world!

Covering over 5.5 million square kilometres and nine countries, the Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest.  It’s so big that the UK and Ireland would fit into it 17 times!

RUSSIA

Run with wolves through Russia with Feodora in The Wolf Wilder.

Occupying one-tenth of all the land on Earth and spanning 11 time zones and two continents (Europe and Asia), Russia is the world’s biggest country. It also has shores on three oceans (the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic).

Russia’s landscape varies from sandy and  frozen deserts, tall mountains and giant marshes to rolling, treeless plains called ‘steppes‘. Its varied habitat is home to snow leopards, polar bears and Siberian
tigers
.

WRITING COMPETITION

We’re offering one lucky reader the chance to see their short story published on natgeokids.com, plus all four of Katherine Rundell’s books.

Click here to find out how to enter!

To learn more about Katherine Rundell’s books head to bloomsbury.com/katherinerundellbooks

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