The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Release date: Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Eleven year old Ren is the only one-handed boy at the orphanage, a fact that Brother Joseph was quick to point out whenever men came to adopt boys for help on their farms. Consequently, Ren was never adopted and it was only a matter of time until he was sold into the Army. That all changes one day when Benjamin Nab shows up at the orphanage, claiming to be Ren’s older brother.
The heart of “The Good Thief” is Ren’s search for family, or at least surrogate family. The only clue he has to his heritage is a piece of the clothing in which he was discovered, a collar embroidered with the name ‘REN.’ He takes this to mean that at one time someone cared for him, enough to embroider his clothing, that he must have been wanted at some point, that perhaps his parents are still out there. This takes place in the midst of Ren’s escapades with Benjamin and his partner Tom, both of whom support themselves through theft and even as resurrection men. Ren soon proves himself adept at this life, but he still maintains that the thing he wants most in the world is a family.
I was thoroughly engaged throughout the entire book. Ren is a very sympathetic character. At times, even Benjamin and Tom are sympathetic, although they both steal for a living and have a tendency to drink too much. This is a good read that I would recommend picking up if you happen to see it around.
Or, you could buy this book on Amazon.