When children or their caregivers come to the Library asking for recommendations, I often find myself suggesting some of my favorite books from when I was a kid. There’s something really comforting about rereading an old favorite! I came up with this idea for a blog post series so that our Trove and Edge librarians could recommend some of their favorite childhood stories. I hope that you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed rereading!
I was the kid that was always reading – in class (when I definitely shouldn’t have been!), in the lunchroom, and I even brought a book to Girl Scouts meetings (much to the dismay of my mother). To this day, I pride myself on always having a book with me wherever I go. I always loved and still enjoy fantasy stories, and Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord was a perfect combination of a magical, mysterious adventure.
Many fantasy books take place in a magical world and this one is no exception. It takes place in Venice, which is a magical region that you can actually visit! You’d be able to visit the places where the characters in this book go, ride in a gondola, eat pizza, pasta, and gelato, and view gorgeous buildings, sculptures, and paintings!
In The Thief Lord, brothers Prosper and Bo run away to Venice after their mother passes away. She had always talked about it being wonderful and the boys find that is indeed the case! The two boys meet a group of children – Hornet, Mosca, and Riccio – that all live in an abandoned movie theater. They get by with the help of Scipio, a boy who calls himself the Thief Lord and who claims to raid the lovely houses of Venice at night.
While selling some of the loot to sneaky shopkeeper Barbarossa, he offers a job to Prosper and Riccio. The Thief Lord is to steal a lion’s wing from a local house that once belonged to a mystical merry-go-round. After accepting the job, there is much adventuring around Venice as the group attempts to steal the wing as well as avoid a local detective looking for Prosper and Bo.
I’m really not sure how many times at this point that I’ve read this tale. It was definitely multiple times when I was a child and I reread it a few years back while on a trip to Italy. Even after rereading it now, I still think this book stands the test of time and that fantasy fans will very much adore this story! To access the audiobook of it via OverDrive, click here; for the eBook version via OverDrive, click here; and to get a copy of the print book, click here.