A Kind of Thief

Vivien Alcock, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $14 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-30564-8
Along with her British compatriots Peter Dickinson, Nina Bawden and Gillian Cross, Alcock writes some of the smartest, most engrossing YA fiction around--and her latest novel is no exception. After Elinor's father is arrested for his involvement in a shady business deal, his flighty second wife decamps to Italy with her infant son, leaving Elinor and her siblings to be parceled out to relatives they hardly know. Elinor is sent to stay with Aggie, her father's cousin. There she meets Aggie's mother, the ill-tempered Mrs. Carter, and Timon, her mercurial foster son. Timon is determined to regain Mrs. Carter's life savings, embezzled by Elinor's father, which may lie inside the locked suitcase that Elinor has secretly retrieved from Victoria Station. Though the story's neat-and-tidy happy ending is at odds with its emotionally sophisticated tone, readers will find much to relish in the doings of these idiosyncratic characters. Infused with a bittersweet seriousness, the work considers an assortment of weighty issues, all the while providing a pulse-quickening read. Ages 10-14. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-440-40916-8
Paperback - 978-0-440-90107-5
Hardcover - 260 pages - 978-0-7451-1608-2
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