Parents' Guide to

Thief of Dreams

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Boy is horrified to discover uncle's secret life.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (1):

This interesting and mildly suspenseful story is told by Martin in the second person, an unusual technique that gives it voice and immediacy. Many kids this age and younger tend to speak and write this way, until their teachers correct them, so it lends a bit of authenticity as well, and makes one wonder why it isn't used more often in teen novels.

Veteran author Todd Strasser wisely doesn't trowel it on too thick: Uncle Lawrence is a nice guy, not the second coming, and Martin is vaguely lonely and sad, not miserable and abused. Mild is the operative word here -- the story is mildly suspenseful, Martin's voice is mildly sardonic, and the characters are all painted in pastel shades. Thus the strength of Martin's connection to Lawrence that is revealed near the end comes a bit out of left field. But the story flows smoothly and keeps the reader involved to the end.

Book Details

  • Author: Todd Strasser
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Penguin Group
  • Publication date: October 3, 2004
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 160
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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