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Grape Thief

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  136 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
With refreshing honesty, heart, and humor - and a compelling young narrator - the author of the award-winning LONE WOLF takes readers back to 1925, and a place where a boy must become a man all too soon.

It’s 1925 in multiethnic Roslyn, Washington, and twelve-year-old Slava has earned the nickname "Cuss" because he can swear in fourteen languages. In fact, Cuss loves langua
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Candlewick Press
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It’s 1925 in Roslyn, Washington, and a boy named Slava has earned the nickname "Cuss" because he can swear in fourteen languages. In fact, Cuss loves languages. Unlike His older brothers,Matt and joey,who left school after sixth grade to work in the mines to earn money for their mom. Slava likes reading as much as he likes playing around and planning how to get grapes from the grape train. But when bootleggers come to town, cuss brothers are involved and leave to another state.Cuss feels the we ...more
Some SPOILERS: Set in Roslyn, WA. Slava Petrovich is a 7th grader in a Croatian family. His older brothers Matt and Joey work in the mines to support their widowed mother. Mine work is the money-maker for much of the town. One night Slava witnesses Matt and Joey confronting the man that was courting their sister Mary. The man dies when he falls and hits his head against a wall. Turns out the man has bootlegger connections and Matt and Joey could be in real trouble. One day Matt and Joey are gone ...more
Jan 09, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
Great book!!! Sometimes it's sad. Others it's suspenseful. But most of all, funny. I suggest this book to strong readers and people who can relate to stuff easily.
Young Cuss tries to stay in school with lots happening. Ma is taking care of Cuss's sick little brother. He meets a priest after the doctor came to try to heal the little brother. The priest ends up coming to Cuss's school to come and teach Latin. Cuss is very good at Latin and aced the Latin test. Then his older brother moves away t
Jan 29, 2009 Mateo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A boy named Slava has earned the nickname "Cuss" because he can swear in fourteen languages. In fact, Cuss loves languages. Unlike his older brothers ,Matt and Joey, who left school after sixth grade to work in the mines to earn money for their mom. Slava likes reading as much as he likes playing around and planning how to get grapes from the grape train. But when bootleggers come to town, cuss brothers are involved and leave to another state. Cuss feels the weight of family responsibility. but ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Mara rated it liked it
Yet another "life-time" story which was actually quite good and not teribly boring. Perhaps part of why I found it so entertaining is because it takes place in my home state (Washington) and though it is a little disconcerting to read familiar landmarks and towns in a book, discovering the rarely-mentioned Washington State in a story always makes me feel a little smug. Who doesn't like to read about their home state? Especially in such a fascinating era.

The storyline could have been far more int
May 26, 2010 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My little book club of four sixth grade boys just finished reading Kristine Franklin's Cuss, originally titled the Grape Stealer(great move by publisher to the title). I was concerned my readers would have difficulty with the dialog and even more difficulty making personal connections to the time period (1920s), but Franklin had them enthralled within the first few pages when Cuss, the protagonist, is convinced by his friend Perks if he "makes water on a rock" they'll be able to find some stray ...more
Miss Amanda
gr 5-8 290 pgs

1925, Roslyn, Washington. 12 year old Slava "Cuss" Petrovich has a gift for languages. He can curse in 14 languages and learning Latin in school is a breeze. Unlike the other boys in town, Slava is determined not to go to work in the mines. His dream is to continue school, but with his two older brothers on the run from the mob and his widowed mother struggling to make ends meet, Slava knows his dream will never happen. Instead, Slava must find work to help support his family.

The s
Jack Tyrone THE FOURTH
Nov 14, 2013 Jack Tyrone THE FOURTH rated it really liked it
The book Grape Thief, by Kristine Franklin, was good in my opinion, the story is loosely based off of real events that happened to the authors grandfather, which, I think, helped make the story seem more realistic. The author does a good job of developing all of the characters which only helped make the story more inviting. The book takes place in the late 1800’s which, to me, is a very interesting time period for stories because there were very many sad things going on then and for the next thi ...more
May 08, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
12 yr old Slava Petrovich is a scholar. He loves school and doesn't want to work in the coal mines like his older brothers to support the fatherless family. Slava's nickname is Cuss since he has learned to cuss in 14 different languages, representing the multiculturalness of the Washington state coal mining town. It is 1925, the local boot leggers are getting muscled in by the big city mobsters for their share of the "cut" of the moonshine produced in the area during prohibition. Slava's older b ...more
I loved this book. I usually read about three books a week and rarely write reviews (though I keep promising myself I will get better about doing that) but I was so moved by this book, which was titled GRAPE THIEF when I picked it up. It was an emotional journey and I recommend everyone take it. I kept thinking I was going to make the read last, but I was done with it in an otherwise busy day and a half. I laughed, I choked back tears, I worried, I hoped, and laughed and nearly cried some more. ...more
Karen Boyer
May 25, 2015 Karen Boyer rated it really liked it
I loved that this book took place in Roslyn. The book gives you a window into what the mining town was like in its heyday and the diverse immigrant population that called Roslyn home.
Apr 18, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it
This was my son's independent reading book for literature. It is the story of Slava, nicknamed Cuss, a seventh grader, who lives in the mining town of Roslyn, Washington in the mid 1920’s. Cuss learns an important life lesson near the end. “I stared at the sky. No matter where I went, no matter how far I ran, the lying and stealing I’d done, just like the stars in the sky, they’d follow me, watching, hovering over my head, reminding me that I was a crook. It didn’t matter if no one else ever kne ...more
This book shows a lot about a life of a American back in the early 1900s. It gives out a lot of ideas about the people, and how they lived. Cuss is a strange name for a book, but was originally called "Grape Thief" which I felt as a better title. The end of the book was in total satisfactory for me, because Cuss got what he wanted, and didn't hurt anyone or tried to commit a sin on purpose. I kind of do want to be a bit like Cuss, because he's smart and knows how to make a living, and survive in ...more
Jul 04, 2009 Katrina rated it really liked it
Recommended to Katrina by: Traci
Because I love good historical fiction, I knew Grape Thief might "fit the bill." Bingo! It was an awesome read that I know I'll recommend to students this year. Each chapter ended on a "need to read more" note. The combination of humor, drama, and history was pure enjoyment. My 10 year old son, Jess, picked Grape Thief up as I was reading, and he couldn't put it down either. I hope there's more coming down the line from Kristine L. Franklin soon!
May 19, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A boy named Slava has earned the nickname "Cuss" because he can swear in fourteen languages.he plans all day to get grapess.

It was based on a true about the cold i can connect it the world.
I gave this book 3 stars. I gave it it 3 stars because i though author did really good on wirting this book.It was really relistic and kind of intersesting. it was not really my type.
Angela Collins
Jan 01, 2013 Angela Collins rated it it was amazing
So weird, I was searching for the book Cuss, but it is now named The Grape Thief. Seriously strange. My hard copy is called Cuss, by Franklin. Loved it, even if meant for the younger reader. We should all branch out to see what the youngsters are reading, or being asked to read, at some point. Very honest story with little getting in the way of the storytelling.
Jan 26, 2012 Taiyiana rated it it was amazing
This is such a good read, seriously once you get into the characters you can't put this book down! I think this is the book that got me into historical fiction (which is my favorite genre btw). The setting and details are great and I love the main character. I'm usually neutral about main characters, but he was just such a delightful person to read.
Feb 01, 2011 Dotty rated it it was amazing
Guten Tag. Cuss is my name cuz I can cuss in 14 languages. But that’s not all I can say since languages come easy to me. We came to this country from Croatia and we’re working now in the coal mines. Me and my friends tried to steal from the grape train but things got out of hand and now my brothers are in trouble and have to leave town because of me.
Nov 03, 2011 Shea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its about a boy who knows all the cuss words in all the lanuges and lives with his mom and little brother because his older brothers went to go get money for there mom and cuss was the only one that went to school but then he quit because his brother got sick and he needed to help his mom. if u want to know more read the book!
Oct 09, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
Quick, interesting read. Takes place in Roslyn, WA in the 1920's and explores a young boy's battle to reconcile his desire to continue his education and his growing family responsibilities. Historical issues addressed included prohibition, the mining industry, and immigrants.
Apr 26, 2013 Nikita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was very funny, adventurous, enthralling and all-out exciting. This is the book that may look long, but when you read it, it feels very short, and you can finish it in no time at all, because it's one of those books that's hard to put down.
Jan 14, 2013 Kelseylethco rated it really liked it
Both of my sister have already read it, but I hadn't even heard of it. The main character in this one is from Croatia too. :) I learned a bit about life in the 1920's and it ended well. I liked it.
Shala Mccolley
Mar 25, 2013 Shala Mccolley rated it it was amazing
I'll admit the title, "Cuss" drew me in. (It was previously printed as "Grape Thief"). And that it takes place in Washington and talks about places I know. Great book.
Jan 13, 2011 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I wish everyone could read this book. I came across it by accident and I am SO glad that I did! Wonderful book that teaches so much and in such an enjoyable way:)
Aug 19, 2009 Cmerie rated it it was amazing
A great book for a young man to read, but perhaps the parent should read it first. It was a quick read for me and just what I was looking for at the time.
Jun 21, 2009 Zoe rated it liked it
While this book included some cool history, it didn't necessarily have a point. Something I found semi frusterating.
Rochelle Jewel  Shapiro
Great characters and important historical information about a small town in Roslyn, Washington in the twenties.
Jun 23, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it
Great book. Moved right along and kept my interest. It was a quick read, which I like.
Katrinadohn Dohn
Jun 26, 2011 Katrinadohn Dohn rated it really liked it
Great historical fiction set in Roslyn, WA in the 1920s! Delightful read!
Jacque G.
I absaloutly loved this book!!!! Thats all I can say! Its a MUST READ
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Kristine L. Franklin is the author of several novels for young readers, including ECLIPSE, NERD NO MORE, DOVE SONG, and the best-selling LONE WOLF, a SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Best Book of the Year.
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