Stealing is definitely wrong, but in these novels, thieves combine know-how and magic to provide readers with action, adventure, and stories of friendship and family. When it comes to being a thief, do the ends justify the means? Maybe not, but these actions sure make for a good story.

“Story Thieves” by James Riley, 2015, Aladdin, 383 pages, ages 8-12.

Imagine being able to jump into a book and be on the scene of your favorite story. When Owen discovers Bethany’s amazing ability, he insists on joining her on a book trip. But Owen goes too far when he tries to save a favorite character, thus changing the course of the story, and stealing the spotlight for himself. The author, James Riley, weaves an intricate story between the present world and the book world, one that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

“Loot” by Jude Watson, 2014, Scholastic, 277 pages, ages 8-12.

Jewel-thief Alfie McQuinn’s last gift to his son before dying was a stolen jewel and clues leading to something more precious than jewels – the secret of the curse that has kept March McQuinn from knowing his twin sister. The boy’s experience as his father’s loot-stealing apprentice sets up March, Jules, and their friends to solve a mystery that could lead to seven million dollars and answer questions about the McQuinn parents’ deadly fate. Suspense and action set the stage for a compelling story, much like Watson’s series hit “39 Clues”.

“Mark of the Thief” by Jennifer A. Nielsen, 2015, Scholastic, 339 pages, ages 8-12.

When a Roman slave boy steals a trinket from the tomb of Caesar, the amulet’s magic powers pits Nic against evil and corrupt leaders of ancient Rome. At every turn, Nic is unsure of friend or foe, including Aurelia, a fierce fighter and loyal defender, the griffin Caela, and Radolph, whose magic rivals the power of Nic’s. Action, adventure, and intrigue combine forces to take readers into a time from the past where a curse from Caesar can, centuries later, lead to magic and death. Jennifer Nielsen also wrote “The False Prince” series, a popular trilogy combining fantasy and adventure.

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