Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Highway Robbery

Highway Robbery
by Kate Thompson
ill. by Jonny Duddle and Robert Dress
juvenile historical fiction
118 pages
New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, 2009

The young narrator of this story is a scrawny little urchin begging his way through life on the streets of London. One cold and dreary day a gentleman asks him to hold his horse until he gets back, promising him a gold coin if he successfully does so. As the day progresses and the "gentleman" doesn't return, our young hero ponders all the ways he could spend the promised coin. His reflections are frequently interrupted by would-be horse thieves, obnoxious girls, and the King's soldiers.  The soldiers inform him that he is guarding the horse of the infamous highway robber, Dick Turpin. They then use the boy and the horse to set a trap for the criminal. Our youngster's thoughts are in turmoil about this change in events, and he is only sure of one thing, he was promised some money and no matter, he was getting paid for the job! A fun, short, historical fiction with pleasant black and white illustrations throughout.

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