A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that City of Saints & Thieves is a contemporary thriller set in Kenya and Congo. It features characters who are gang members, cybercriminals, and traffickers in "blood gold." The novel focuses on the plight of young women kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery, as well as other crimes against women. (Those scenes are dramatized with restraint.) Other violent scenes include a gunfight and a fight that leads to a skull fracture. Strong language is limited to a handful of uses of "hell," "damn," and "s--t." Sexual content is limited to a couple of passionate embraces.
What's the story?
In CITY OF SAINTS & THIEVES, 16-year-old master thief Tina has been living on the streets for years following the murder of her mother. She's part of the Goonda gang and has devised an elaborate scheme to exact vengeance on Roland Greyhill, the man she believes responsible for the crime. But when she breaks into the Greyhill home, she's not only captured by his son Michael but forced to consider whether someone else committed the murder. With Michael and gifted computer hacker Boyboy in tow, Tina sets off on a search for the truth, a journey that will put her in danger almost every step of the way.
Is it any good?
Readers looking for an exciting read with some extra thematic depth will be entranced by this thriller. City of Saints & Thieves addresses important contemporary issues, and with its action-packed, tightly plotted murder mystery, it stands out from the pack of run-of-the-mill thrillers as it depicts a young woman's quest for revenge in contemporary Africa. Author Natalie C. Anderson has worked for a decade with the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations on refugee relief and development, and her expertise and depth of knowledge give the twisty plot added impact. Tina, Michael, and Boyboy are a captivating trio of truth seekers, and their interplay offers much-needed relief from the often grim developments.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how City of Saints & Thieves depicts current events in Congo and Kenya. What kinds of human rights violations occur in those countries? What can be done to help the women and children displaced by violence?
How is violence used in City of Saints & Thieves? Is its use justified or condemned?
How is the subject of revenge addressed in the novel? Is vengeance shown to be a productive activity?
Tina, her mother, and her mother's friend all suffer tremendous trauma. How do people heal from such situations?
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