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City of Saints and Thieves

by Anderson, Natalie C.

School Library Journal Gr 7-10-Tina has been developing her plan for revenge against her mother's killer for five years, and it's finally time to set it in motion. But things don't go quite as planned when she breaks into Roland Greyhill's palatial estate in the hills above bustling Sangui City, Kenya. Greyhill's son, Michael, who was Tina's best friend when her mother worked as a maid in the house, catches her downloading information from his father's computer. His condition for not turning her in? Teaming up with him to prove that his father is innocent of murder. Tina staunchly believes in Roland's guilt-he and her mother had been having an affair, and her mother's body had been found in Roland's private study. But Tina feels she has no choice but to play along. Their investigation involves members of the local gang Tina joined after her mother's death, smugglers, oil company executives, and a dissolute journalist, and it takes Tina, Michael, and her friend Boyboy into the remote area of Congo where Tina was born as they try to learn whether something in her mother's past led to her death. Themes of war-time horrors, post-traumatic stress disorder, economic disparity, and colonialism are seamlessly woven into a solidly plotted, swiftly paced international murder mystery that's laced with just a hint of romance. VERDICT Highly recommended for teens looking for a gritty, suspenseful, immersive read driven by a tough, smart, realistic heroine.-Stephanie -Klose, School Library Journal © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Tina has been living on the streets of (the fictional) Sangui City in Kenya since her mother's murder at the home of Roland Greyhill, her mother's employer and the father of Tina's half-sister, Kiki. Recruited by the Goondas, a gang of orphans and street kids, Tina is the only girl trained to become a foot soldier. As she learns skills to become an accomplished thief, she lives by a series of rules, including "Rule 3: thieves don't have friends" and "Rule 15: a rule from my mother: run." As Tina gets closer to exacting revenge for her mother's death, she discovers that she may not have all the facts. Debut author Anderson, a former aid worker, deftly addresses issues in the region in this fast-paced thriller, highlighting the struggles of refugees in war-torn eastern Congo and the human rights violations that women in particular face. Using a smattering of Swahili, Sheng (street slang), and French, Anderson adeptly uses language to bring Tina's world to life as she carefully traces her heroine's history to reveal a shocking truth. Ages 12-up. Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* If you're going to be a thief, the first thing you need to know is that you don't exist. So begins Congo refugee and Kenyan street gang member Tina's gripping narrative, a wonderfully twisted puzzle of a murder mystery. Six years ago, Tina's mother, maid to wealthy Mr. Greyhill, was murdered in his study. Eleven-year-old Tina got her half sister Kiki (Mr. Greyhill's daughter) a scholarship at a convent school and then disappeared into the streets of Sangui City, where she joined the Goonda gang. Here Tina refined her skills as a thief while carefully plotting revenge on Greyhill, whom she has good reason to believe murdered her mother. Now 17, Tina is ready to put the plan into action by blackmailing and then killing her mother's assassin. Anderson, who has worked with refugee relief and development in Africa, addresses issues of race, class, and gender as intrinsic plot elements. Tina's gay friend BoyBoy is an especially sympathetic and compelling character who refuses to join the Goondas, yet lends his computer skills to their many heists. Greyhill's son Michael, Tina's childhood playmate, is now both her captor and maybe her love interest, highlighting the tremendous gap between wealth and poverty and the resulting power dynamics. The nicely twisted climax is wholly believable, and readers will be sorry to leave Tina, whose fierce loyalty to family drives her courageous actions.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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