Twelve-year-old Prosper and his five-year-old brother, Boniface, have run away to Venice to escape being separated by their mean aunt, Esther. She and her husband have tracked them to the Italian city and hire Victor, a local detective to find Bo, whom they want to adopt. Meanwhile, the two boys have been befriended by a group of orphaned childre led by the secretive Scipio, who steals from rich mansions to take care of all the children. They live in an abandoned movie theater where they avoid adults and try to stay warm and fed. Soon enough, Victor spies Prosper and is led on a merry chase through the waterways of Venice. In fact, Venice is as much a character in this book as any of the children and adults. And there are some great characters in this book along with a magical merry-go-round, a mysterious Conte who wants to hire the Thief Lord to steal an odd object with the promise of an immense sum of money; and a woman who soon becomes involved with the orphans and lends them her help when the going gets pretty rough. The whole book was just so much fun to read. Very imaginative and well-written.
CATCHING UP CHALLENGE