The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw
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The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The Barefoot Bandit tells the riveting true story of Colton Harris-Moore, America’s twenty-first-century outlaw. Born into a poor family marred by alcohol abuse, Colt had the local sheriff after him before the age of ten. Colt survived by breaking into homes to forage for food, and learned to evade the police by melting into the Pacific Northwest wilds. As a teenager, he e...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 1900)
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Matt
On the good side, this book is a sympathetic portrait of a tragic, likable criminal. You feel like Colton had so much going against him (abusive mother, unstable home, unhelpful school & social services), and fell into more serious crimes step-by-step, yet avoided some of the worst criminalities (drug use, violence, etc.). He's obviously a smart kid and needed better opportunities and guidance. It seems that when he had to steal food to eat because his mother spent all their money on beer an...more
Tom Hamrick
absolutely LOVED this book. First off I was totally obsessed with this story while it was going on and this book has so many great details and the writer kept me going to bed wanting to wake up to find out what the kid was up to. Also its a lesson in how bad parenting and broken homes can lead to alot of hidden depression and issues. This boy is a genius and with support and coaching as opposed to getting drunk and beating him up nightly he could have cured something or invented something, his s...more
Sarah
I picked this up because I remembered hearing about this kid evading authorities on Orcas Island by hiding out in the woods back when I was living in Seattle. I slogged through the whole thing because I wanted to know what happened, but wished it were a quarter of the length. The author starts out jumping between 2 or 3 different timelines, and when he settles on a purely chronological one includes way too many background details (for example, about the childhoods of Colton's victims). I have to...more
Perri
Like everyone else on Orcas, I thought I was following this story pretty closely, but I was surprised at how much I didn't know. It's really astonishing this kid is alive! I thought Friel did a bang- up job describing the allure of Orcas, from its quirkiness to the backroom politics. It was fun to read about places I know, people I've talked to... I've been here five years, and learned some new things-the Ditch was an attempt to cut Orcas in two? Huh. The first part of the book is devoted mostl...more
Cathy O'doherty
Good read. Very entertaining and interesting. My only complaint is that Friel gives an in-depth background of almost everyone the Bandit encounters. This gets a little tedious. Otherwise I found the book an easy read and quite fascinating.
Linda
I read this because it was a local story. I love Orcas Island and was curious about the details the media left out. Can't believe this book is non-fiction. It was so interesting, riveting and exciting. Total page turner.
Robb Ellis
One of the best biographies I have ever read. Brilliant that the author lived right where Colton Harris-Moore did, it gives the book that much more credibility. The author was fully immersed in the story as it unfolded. I don't condone what Colton did but it will blow you mind to read about the super-human things he did. For months having the FBI, SWAT, State Police, Navy, and Coast Guard, bounty hunters, and local armed citizens try to catch a teenage boy on a small island and fail? You can't m...more
Matthew Dixon
The story of a teenager who went on a crime spree starting in the pacific northwest and conitnuing across the country. Doesn't sound like much but it's really an amazing tale, involving an uneducated but extremely bright boy who evaded bumbling law enforcement for years through his smarts and physicality. Not someone to be admired surely but the story sure is entertaining and does not involve any violence. the author does a good job of laying out the story. He gets a bit self-aggrandizing someti...more
Christina Dudley
Really enjoyed this page-turning story of the smart kid who sadly had so many strikes against him. Had he enjoyed a safe living place and the company of mentors and loving adults, his tale would have played out so differently. Sounds like the alcoholic mom was villainized, but I got most ticked at the bullying classmates--his mom had an addiction--what was your excuse?

I wish Colton Harris-Moore all the best when he gets out. May he be surrounded by support and use all those smarts and skills for...more
Phil C
Loved the book. The author had a personal connection to the incident. Fast moving, well told. I wish Colt all the best after he finds his way.
Shannon
I remembered hearing about this story on the news. Overall, I liked the book; I found it an interesting read, and a fascinating story. I couldn't help but be somewhat sympathetic toward the kid for everything that he'd been through. I think the book itself could have been condensed. I forced myself to finish it because I hate not finishing a book, but it felt as though the author was repeating himself and dragging it out just to make the book longer.
Kelly Riolo
I really have not enjoyed this book. I was expecting to, but feel like every page just tells the same story over and over again. Maybe that's the point. He keeps committing the same crime and law enforcement keeps making the same misstakes. Dumb.

I also did not enjoy the writer's style. I often found it hard to follow because it was so conversational. I'm not sure how I missed it, but I'm not sure who is telling this story.
Andrea Gebler
Didn't finish it. I wasn't intrigued by the story and it just seemed to go round and round. I understand that a description is important to set the scene but I feel the author went into a little too much detail. I may have finished it had the author been a little more to the point spending more time on the actual events and crimes rather than describe every nook and cranny about the terrain and way of life
Randy Briggs
I enjoyed this book a great deal. The author has a jokey, conversational style that kept me engaged. He managed to keep a balance between Colton, his family, and his neighbors without judging any of them. I was happy to find a biography that didn't tip over into an all-out puff piece. If you enjoy true crime and/or bios, this is the book for you.
Kara
Totally amazing. I knew about the story because this guy stole Nick's laptop in the summer of 2008, but I had no idea about the extent of the crimes and the backstory. A Black Hawk helicopter on Orcas! Really fun to read about Orcas but also a really fascinating story about a kid on a crime spree, and that kid's troubled life.
Lisa Neuharth-kearney
Great story about an amazing young man that tries to survive in the NW on his own and educated himself to fly planes so he can steal them and defy all authority. Sad upbringing but gives you a glimpse into the child raised by an alcoholic, they are survivors one way or another.
Evan
I enjoyed this book, and found it quiet detailed. What made me appreciate the visuals even more was being from the Pacific Northwest as well (and having visited Seattle, Oregon, and Olympia all a couple of times in recent years when visiting the U.S.).
Traci
I remember when his story was in the news. When I saw this book sitting near the check out at the library, I figured why not? Boy, this kid was crazy! I feel as if he never had a chance in his youth (good job Mom) and was quite a character by the end…
Amanda
The back half (thankfully) was more exciting and in an order that made sense. Unfortunately the first half went on and on and was chronologically all over the place. Overall I enjoyed the book, but it could have been shorter, in my opinion.
Susan  Odetta
Poorly written true story of a sad, abused, disenfranchised, and very smart young man who carried out a one-man crime spree from the San Juan Islands to Bermuda. I enjoyed the descriptions of places and that's the reason I kept reading.
Carol
Sad but engaging story of Colt and his mother from hell. This is a fascinating case study of a bright boy's way out of a life with no boundaries, rules, or social skills. I could not put this book down.
Lindsey
I couldn't put this book down! True story of a young kid who becomes famous by stealing planes and running from the law! By the end of it I was rooting for the bandit!!
Sam
I liked learning about Colton's life and I liked all the information about the San Juan Islands. That said, the book was TOO LONG. On and On. But, glad I read it.
Bonnie Dykhouse
I enjoyed this book but it seemed to just go on too long! Maybe if I was from the Pacific Northwest it would have been more intersting but still a decent read.
Patty


Shame on his mother, shame on department of children services, shame on the school system- this kid was crying out from a very young age.
Phillip Oliver
Repetitive and actually too much detail, I thought the book was overlong and tedious. An over-analysis of a mildly interesting case.
Katlyn
I just won this and I'm super excited to read it!
~Review to be revised when I receive/read the book~
Jillian
Cant wait for the movie! Hope its identical to the book. Fantastic read couldn't put down.
Ahimsa
Overwritten and overlong, this is nonetheless an entertaining account of a pretty fascinating dude.
Maria Kinsley
Amazing all the stuff this kid got away with. Liked the irreverent writing style.
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