cover image City of Saints & Thieves

City of Saints & Thieves

Natalie C. Anderson. Putnam, $18.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-399-54758-4

Tina has been living on the streets of (the fictional) Sangui City in Kenya since her mother’s murder at the home of Roland Greyhill, her mother’s employer and the father of Tina’s half-sister, Kiki. Recruited by the Goondas, a gang of orphans and street kids, Tina is the only girl trained to become a foot soldier. As she learns skills to become an accomplished thief, she lives by a series of rules, including “Rule 3: thieves don’t have friends” and “Rule 15: a rule from my mother: run.” As Tina gets closer to exacting revenge for her mother’s death, she discovers that she may not have all the facts. Debut author Anderson, a former aid worker, deftly addresses issues in the region in this fast-paced thriller, highlighting the struggles of refugees in war-torn eastern Congo and the human rights violations that women in particular face. Using a smattering of Swahili, Sheng (street slang), and French, Anderson adeptly uses language to bring Tina’s world to life as she carefully traces her heroine’s history to reveal a shocking truth. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group. (Jan.) [/em]