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Angel Thieves
Cover of Angel Thieves
Angel Thieves
An ocelot. A slave. An angel thief. Multiple perspectives spanning across time are united through themes of freedom, hope, and faith in a most unusual and epic novel from Newbery Honor–winning...
An ocelot. A slave. An angel thief. Multiple perspectives spanning across time are united through themes of freedom, hope, and faith in a most unusual and epic novel from Newbery Honor–winning...
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  • An ocelot. A slave. An angel thief.

    Multiple perspectives spanning across time are united through themes of freedom, hope, and faith in a most unusual and epic novel from Newbery Honor–winning author and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt.
    Sixteen-year-old Cade Curtis is an angel thief. After his mother's family rejected him for being born out of wedlock, he and his dad moved to the apartment above a local antique shop. The only payment the owner Mrs. Walker requests: marble angels, stolen from graveyards, for her to sell for thousands of dollars to collectors. But there's one angel that would be the last they'd ever need to steal; an angel, carved by a slave, with one hand open and one hand closed. If only Cade could find it...

    Zorra, a young ocelot, watches the bayou rush past her yearningly. The poacher who captured and caged her has long since lost her, and Zorra is getting hungrier and thirstier by the day. Trapped, she only has the sounds of the bayou for comfort—but it tells her help will come soon.

    Before Zorra, Achsah, a slave, watched the very same bayou with her two young daughters. After the death of her master, Achsah is free, but she'll be damned if her daughters aren't freed with her. All they need to do is find the church with an angel with one hand open and one hand closed...

    In a masterful feat, National Book Award Honoree Kathi Appelt weaves together stories across time, connected by the bayou, an angel, and the universal desire to be free.

About the Author-

  • Kathi Appelt is the author of the Newbery Honoree, National Book Award finalist, PEN USA Literary Award–winning, and bestselling The Underneath as well as the National Book Award finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Maybe a Fox (with Alison McGhee), Keeper, and many picture books including Counting Crows and Max Attacks. She has two grown children and lives in College Station, Texas, with her husband. Visit her at KathiAppelt.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2019
    A Texas bayou holds memories and secrets, weaving together people and animals through connected histories.Buffalo Bayou takes her place as part of an ensemble cast that spans nearly two centuries. Sixteen-year-old Cade Curtis is a white boy who works alongside his father stealing angel statues from cemeteries for an antiques dealer, and Soleil Broussard is a 16-year-old Creole Christian with a tiny honey bear jar tattooed on her wrist. The two attend school together in present-day Houston, Texas, but the story intertwines their connection with stories of slaves and an ocelot in a narrative that runs away like the rushing of a river. Texas is a gorgeous backdrop for the story, eliciting haunting imagery that spotlights the natural beauty of the state. Each character helps piece together a quilt of experiences that stream from the omnipresent bayou who sees, hears, and protects, and the revelations of their overlapping connections are well-paced throughout. The novel is less successful, however, at underscoring why there are so many voices battling for space in the text. Too-short vignettes that are rather haphazardly forced together provide glimpses into the lives of the characters but make it difficult to follow all of the threads. While an author's note offers historical background explaining the inspiration for the characters, it does not provide sufficient cohesion.Moving imagery is muddied by disjointed character representation in a novel that feels overcrowded. (author's note) (Fiction. 13-15)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 25, 2019
    The Texas Buffalo Bayou is both an evocative character and setting in this atmospheric novel about an angel thief searching for redemption. Cade doesn’t enjoy helping his father steal stone angels from graveyards, but it helps to ease financial burdens for the kind, elderly antiques dealer who took in Cade and his father when Cade was an infant. Still, stealing doesn’t seem right to Cade, and he wonders what Soleil, his religious new crush, would think if she found out. Cade wants to do “something good” to make up for his sins, and he finds that opportunity in Zorra, an abused ocelot left to die in her cage. The vivid bayou setting serves as the connecting force as Appelt (The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp) intertwines the present-day story of Cade and Zorra with a historic tale involving a former slave and the angel monument that guides her and her daughters to safety. Using short vignettes and multiple viewpoints (including that of the bayou) that can make the novel feel overfilled, the author shows the best and worst sides of humanity and underscores the powerful force of the bayou, which both holds and erases secrets. Ages 14–up.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2019

    Gr 9 Up-Houston today: a teenage boy and his father steal marble angels from cemeteries in the dead of night. A teenage girl, inspired by a young boy and a honey bear jar, takes a chance on love. An ocelot, trapped by a poacher, suffers and starves alone in its cage. Houston, 1846: a freed black woman runs away with her two enslaved young daughters, searching along the bayou for the marble woman who will mark their salvation. The Buffalo Bayou sees it all. The Buffalo Bayou gives what it can, and the Buffalo Bayou remembers. Told in interspersed perspectives across time, these tales are connected by their setting as well as by themes of desperation, hope, and faith. Short chapters and lyrical prose give this novel an atmospheric, poetic sensibility. Elements of historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and magical realism will appeal to a range of readers. VERDICT Spiritual, succinct, and emotionally gripping, this brief but powerful novel is a masterpiece, deserving of a place in every library that serves teens.-Liz Overberg, Zionsville Community High School, IN

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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