"Troublemaking George has never heard of Pilfer Academy, a top-secret school for cultivating young crooks, until he's kidnapped as its newest student. The teachers are kooky at best, and naughty does not even begin to describe his sneaky, smart, and morally bankrupt new classmates. Between disguise classes, cracking safes, and DIY gadgets, George becomes an expert bandit and finds true friendship with Tabitha, his new partner-in-crime. But everything is ruined when George comes to a shocking realization- He is just tooa good-hearted ato be a thief!a Unfortunately, not thieving is not an option at Pilfer Academy, and 'misbehaving' students face Dean Deanbugle's favorite punishment-the Whirlyblerg! In order to gain their freedom, George and Tabitha must pull the biggest heist the school has ever seen and reveal their true colors not as thieves, but as kind (and, okay, mischievous) kids. Praise fora Pilfer Academy - 'Magaziner creates another weird and silly world that mirrors Hogwarts without the magic . . . A fun fantasy romp.'a Kirkus Reviews a Praise fora The Only Thing Worse Than Witches -a 'CombinesaRoald Dahl's WitchesaandaLouis Sachar's Wayside School . . .areaders will banish themselves from the ordinary world to finish this book in a flash.'a Kirkus Reviews , starred review 'A rollicking tale . . . first-time novelist Lauren Magaziner fashions a rich and compelling alternative reality.'a The Chicago Tribune 'Magaziner's debut has echoes ofaDahl's Matilda . . .aa fun, frothy story that will, well, charm its readers.'a Publishers Weekly 'Mrs. Frabbleknacker is as awful as her name, with antics reminiscent of scenes fromaLouis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside Schoolagone wrong.'a School Library Journal 'Ideal for middle-grade readers who loveaRoald Dahl's Matildaa(1988) and enjoy humor with their fantasy, this debut novel is madcap and fantastical. It's the perfect thing for kids not quite ready foraDiane DuaneaorMadeleine L'Engle.'a Booklist 'The kids' slowly forming friendship has real grace and authenticity . . .aEva Ibbotsonafans will appreciate the quirky humor.'a BCCB 'This hilarious, light-hearted debut would be a great read-aloud for middle grade classrooms.'a Library Media Connection "
"George knows he is the family's naughty kid, but he never considered himself a budding criminal. Unfortunately, the teachers at Pilfer Academy, a boarding school for thieves-in-training, do see thieving potential in him, and, in a single afternoon, he goes from troublemaker to a member of the next generation of crooks. Now the question is, will he fight his way home, or to the top of the class? A charming take on the traditional boarding school story, this is on the surface a light read full of eventually grating puns and wordplay (with teachers boasting names like Strongarm and Pickapocket). But its larger themes, such as deciding who you want to be beyond the perceptions of others, will keep readers invested. The historical allusions sprinkled throughout are a nice touch, and George's voice is humorous and engaging. This is an ideal choice for readers who wish boarding school books had a little more mischief.--Horan, Molly Copyright 2016 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"George's mother has nicknamed him "Naughty George" for his habit of stealing from his siblings and causing chaos at home. These same skills have caught the attention of the secret Pilfer Academy of Filching Arts, which enrolls students by kidnapping them and whisking them off to a castle-a stolen one, naturally-full of ill-gotten artifacts like Michelangelo's David (the one in Italy is an imitation, readers learn). At Pilfer, students train to become top-notch crooks, and while George, who is snatched as the book begins, gets a nasty new roommate, he also finds a best friend in a talented girl named Tabitha. Magaziner (The Only Thing Worse Than Witches) establishes an anything-can-happen atmosphere from the start (one of George's abductors speaks only in malapropisms, while the other tries to locate the North Star by staring at the sun through binoculars), and the goofiness, pranks, and student sabotage don't let up from there. As George decides whether he truly aspires to a life of crime, Magaziner delivers an entirely enjoyable twist on a classic boarding school adventure. Ages 8-12. Agent: Brianne Johnson, Writers House. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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