Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2010: In the city of Jewel, safety and temperance are prized above all other virtues. Goldie, an impetuous girl with a talent for petty thievery, is eagerly awaiting her Separation, in which her silver guardchain connecting her to her parents for safety is finally cut. When tragedy strikes and the city’s sly and deceptive ruler, the Fugleman, cancels all Separations indefinitely, Goldie decides she’s had enough of safety and runs away to the fascinating, mysterious Museum of Dunt. Yet this museum is no dusty educational edifice, as Goldie soon learns: it has moods and feelings like a living being. Its shape-shifting rooms house not historical artifacts, but great and terrible powers that, if unleashed, could destroy the city. In the museum, Goldie meets a quirky cast of misfits, including Toadspit, an Oliver-Twist-like ragamuffin living in the museum; Sinew, a harp-toting spy; and Broo, a talking dog with secret powers of his own. Before long, however, the Fugleman discovers the secret of the museum and tries to use its powers to tighten his control of the city, and it’s up to Goldie, Toadspit, and Broo to stop him. Lian Tanner’s Museum of Thieves is filled with characters who are oddball but meaningful, a dystopia-for-beginners plot that is at once serious and silly, and a pace fast enough to draw in even reluctant readers. The thrilling conclusion teaches that courage and freedom are virtues, too, even if they mean a few scrapes along the way. --Juliet Disparte
Welcome to the tyrannical city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime. Goldie Roth has lived in Jewel all her life. Like every child in the city, she wears a silver guardchain and is forced to obey the dreaded Blessed Guardians. She has never done anything by herself and won’t be allowed out on the streets unchained until Separation Day. When Separation Day is canceled, Goldie, who has always been both impatient and bold, runs away, risking not only her own life but also the lives of those she has left behind. In the chaos that follows, she is lured to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets the boy Toadspit and discovers terrible secrets. Only the cunning mind of a thief can understand the museum’s strange, shifting rooms. Fortunately, Goldie has a talent for thieving. Which is just as well, because the leader of the Blessed Guardians has his own plans for the museum—plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. And it will take a daring thief to stop him. . . . Museum of Thieves is a thrilling tale of destiny and danger, and of a courageous girl who has never been allowed to grow up—until now.
From the Hardcover edition.
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