Ally Carter’s The Heist Society is Ocean’s Eleven for kids–full of smart, funny, and very likable criminals. Carter’s protagonist, Katarina (Kat) Bishop is part of a world class family of art thieves. By 15, however, Kat wants out and has conned her way into an upscale private boarding school for a shot at a normal life. Unfortunately, there’s little chance of that when she appears as the only person who can save her father when a mobster’s priceless art collection is stolen, and her father becomes the only suspect. Oh, he has an alibi, but one he can’t use: He was pulling another job in Paris at the time.
Like the George Clooney/Brad Pitt movie franchise, these likable thieves jet around the world, financed by a wanna-be thief, (and Kat’s wanna-be boyfriend), W.W.Hale the fifth who refuses to reveal with the Ws stand for. That’s a good thing, because they need to move fast–Arturo Taccone, isn’t a run-of-the-mill mobster. He is evil, with a capital E. When Kat discovers exactly what paintings were stolen, and from where, readers realize just how bad Taccone is, and urge Kat along when he gives her only two weeks to return them.
The Heist Society is a well-written, fast-paced book that begs to be turned into a film. (He’s a bit too old, but I see Justin Timberlake as Hale.) Boys need to look past the very girl-oriented cover so they don’t miss this fun read.
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