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Cat Burglar Black

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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  479 ratings  ·  136 reviews
K. Westree: Teen Cat BurglarWhen K. Westree arrivse at Bellsong Academy, she thinks she's left her cat-burgling past behind her. But K. soon discovers the school has a mystery of its own, a hidden treasure left behind by its founder, and she's the only one who has a hope of finding it. As she resumes her cat-burgling in an attempt to discover the school's secrets, K. begin ...more
Paperback, 126 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by First Second
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 711)
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Sam Quixote
The book follows the story of a young girl - "K" - who goes to a strange town where she is told to burgle a number of residents whose houses contain paintings which if collected together will reveal a secret of buried treasure. But as K sees her friends being picked off on these dangerous missions, she begins questioning the direction of her troubled life and tries to find out about what really happened to her parents.

This is the first Richard Sala which is in colour, bringing to life the usual
...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
K. is the new girl at Bellsong Academy for Girls, a mysterious boarding school owned by her aunt. K.'s never met her aunt, she's an orphan who until recently was part of a gang of thieves led by the evil Mother Claude. She was Mother Claude's star performer, perhaps because of her gymnastic abilities inherited from her trapeze artist father.

But things are not right at Bellsong Academy, either. K.'s aunt lies swathed in bandages (why does that make me suspicious?), and the teachers have a plan fo
...more
Callie Rose Tyler
A little disappointed with this one, I enjoyed it but it is nowhere near as good as Delphine which I found to be darkly magical.

It was an interesting story, teenage cat burglars being forced to steal some mysterious paintings, but the execution was not creepy or suspenseful. There is a level of strangeness but not enough to stir any level of emotion from the reader.

I enjoyed the characters and setting but everything felt very underdeveloped and the ending felt very rushed.

Overall, good not gr
...more
Jan
Cat Burglar Black is Richard Sala lite, not as weird and deranged as his other stuff - a mystery for all ages. To be sure, we encounter several shady characters and spooky locations, but the overall tone is not as outlandish as you would expect from Sala.

The mystery is masterfully developed, as the reader constantly feels there might be more to a situation or a character than meets the eye, but I was a bit underwhelmed with the way things were resolved in the end.
Aurora
"Cat Burglar Black" is a crime graphic novel. It tells the story of an orphaned teenage girl nicknamed "K". As a young girl, K was raised in an orphanage. The orphan's matron was very greedy and raised the orphans to be thieves to steal things for her. Later, K is invited to attend the "Bellsong Academy", an academy for exceptional young ladies. At the school, K meets other girls who were having trouble 'fitting in' like her. Mrs. Turtledove, the headmistress of the school, asks the girls to ste ...more
Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scottsdale Public Library
Richard Sala’s books are eerie, mysterious, offbeat, and full of quirky humor. Cat Burglar Black is one of his only graphic novels that may be deemed appropriate for all ages. It is also one of his most attractive looking books. His highly original drawings appear throughout in rich watercolor dyes that have never looked better.

The story, divided into five chapters, is probably the closest thing in form to a Lemony Snicket novel in graphic form. Terrible things have happened to the main characte
...more
Sesana
K's parents died when she was young. The orphanage she was raised in doubled as a training ground for pickpockets, and K was a top student until the place burned to the ground. Now, she's been sent to the private school her aunt owns, only to find that it too doubles as a training ground for thieves. She and the other three girls at the school have been recruited to rob three paintings from eccentric and wealthy owners, because each holds a clue to a larger puzzle.

Cat Burglar Black was written f
...more
Nicola Mansfield
What a devilishly divine caper! K. has been raised in an orphanage by a wicked woman who has trained the children to be master thieves and pickpockets when one day she receives a call from a long lost aunt to come live with her at a rundown boarding school. K arrives and meets 3 other girls who seem to come from similar circumstances as her and the teens are encouraged to continue their thievery working for a secret organization. I loved this book! The story is fast-paced, a little over-the-top ...more
Jennifer
Meh. This GN of a teenage loner trained in the art of theft who is joining an exclusive boarding school for "exceptional" young ladies had promise but ultimately failed to engage me on an emotional level. I liked the art, the color and the action sequences, but there was too much telling of the main character's background instead of showing and I wanted a deeper characterization of the protagonist. Also, the dialogue was a little stiff. The ending is left wide open for a sequel, so we'll see...
ingenue
Holy abandoned plot coupons, Catwoman!
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacki
Summary: Orphan K. was raised in an orphanage where all the children were taught to become pickpockets. When she is sent to a girls' boarding school by a long-lost aunt, K. vows to give up burglary, until the school turns out to be run by an international organization of thieves. With her fellow students, K. participates in three heists to bring together a series of paintings that will give a clue to the location of a secret treasure. But with her friends disappearing and the plot thickening, K. ...more
Orrin Grey
OK, I am officially and for real this time done with Richard Sala. Not that Cat Burglar Black wasn't good. In fact, it was probably my favorite of the things I've read by him, but I have, at this point, sampled a pretty broad cross-section of his work, and while it always feels like it should be my cup of tea exactly, it never quite is for some reason.

Still, Cat Burglar Black is a lot of fun. It's a little simpler and more approachable than some of his other books, and though it has less superna
...more
Laura Masterson
GRAPHIC NOVEL
The story follows K, who is an orphan. Once her aunt contacts her she goes to find her at a school that she believes she runs. Once there K is met by some suspicious girls her age, and some scary adults. They don't seem trustworthy but they say they know her dad and that they work with her aunt (who they say is sick.) It's revealed K was raised to steal, which is in her blood since her father was a legendary cat burglar and worked for a group called "The Obtainers." The adults are m
...more
Andy Shuping
This is my first time reading one of Richard Sala's books and it's...interesting. I had to read this book twice to fully appreciate the story and the artwork, although I still have some mixed feelings about the book.

Overall the story is pretty fantastic. A strong young female character who can stand up for herself doesn't come along as often as it should in stories. And Sala does a masterful job of portraying K with her strength and weaknesses and has created a character that anyone can identif
...more
Crowinator
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leew49
Four teenaged girls, under the control of a sinister criminal organization called the Obtainers, are forced to commit burglaries in a mysterious and dangerous village called Moorlock's Gate. The aim is to solve a riddle that can lead to a long-hidden treasure. The story is set in a creepy old mansion, complete with high-ceilinged shadowy rooms, hidden passages, an eccentric staff and a mysterious bandage-swathed invalid. Characters begin disappearing mysteriously in a manner that brings to mind ...more
Aaron
I've known about Richard Sala for a long time but never bothered to read his work. This book is extremely atmospheric and moody, and the artwork is excellent in a minimalistic way. The three-star rating is because the ending is abrupt and anticlimactic. Everything is resolved too quickly and the fates of some major characters are unresolved. Sala apparently planned on publishing a sequel, but according to a 2013 interview, that will probably never happen.
Jay Daze
A slinky, white haired Nancy-Drew-girl in a paranoid woodcut world peopled with thieves, murders, sadists and a giant criminal conspiracy. Sala's elegant art is deceptively simple, pulling you into a shadowy world. His graphic layout is pretty old school, reminding me of Tin-Tin in places. But instead of a boy reporter, the heroine is a cat burglar with rosebud lips and white hair. Kathrine Westree, who prefers to go by the Kafkaesque 'K'. Young, somewhat blank-faced girls are controlled and thr ...more
Raina
This is in the camp of The Mysterious Benedict Society and other nostalgic quirky stories. K is an orphan sent to live in a school for girls with only four students. Turns out, they are a group of cat burglars on a mission to solve the mystery of a buried treasure. This involves breaking into a series of progressively more eccentric houses (think massive fishtanks, booby traps, and moving statues) and putting together clues. The illustrations are saturated and stylized, and almost make me think ...more
Rebecca
Sep 29, 2009 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 6th grade and up
Picked it up because of the cover, and because it's from First Second Books. I've consistently enjoyed their graphic novels! This one sold itself to me with the bright watercolors and Lemony Snicket's alphabetical blurb on the back (exclamations over this book, ranging from "Aaah!" to "Zounds!").

Orphan K. Westree was raised to be a thief, and it turns out to be these skills which are in demand when her "long lost aunt" requests that she come live at Bellsong Academy, a girls' school with a myst
...more
JoLene
The library had a display of new graphic novels and I couldn't resist picking up a few. I'm always on the lookout for a new series --- unforunately, I'm not sure that I will continue with this one. It's a sad state when I am noticing the quality of the paper (very nice -- BTW), instead of focusing on the story. The artwork is a bit creepy but in keeping with the overall vibe of the story.

This is the story of K, an orphan who has been taught how to be a thief. Apparently, her father was also a th
...more
Rosa
K has been raised in an orphanage to be a thief. When the orphanage is finally revealed for what it truly is, she is sent to a private boarding school where her aunt is working. The book starts when she arrives at the school. She soon finds that the school is not actually open and that there are only four other girls. All is not what she expected. This would definitely be a fun adventure story for tweens. There is a quick pace and the adventure and mystery will keep the reader interested. Second ...more
Lucy
Here are the positives. What I liked about this book is that it's a quick read, and it had a very interesting storyline. Plus I also liked the illustrations. What I didn't like was how you can tell right off the bad who the antagonists are and pretty much nothing seemed of a surprise to me. (view spoiler) I don't want to seem harsh, but this was just an ok read. I know that everything was solved but it st ...more
Maggie Gordon
Wonderful atmosphere and art, but the story was lacking in depth. Several plot lines were left dangling, and the book felt unfinished and a bit too childish for the characters.
Sydney More
The events wrapped up a little too quickly and I didn't find the ending to be satisfying. I really liked the artwork, but the story itself was too sparse for my enjoyment.
Mingo Johnson
The atmosphere a person grows up in affects how they turn out. Until a person sees that that person will only repeat the pattern they grew up in and not make a change.
Emily Lewis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
Fans of the intrepid girl detective will rejoice in this graphic novel's heroine, K. Silver-haired and trained from childhood to be a thief, K is sent to a boarding school of questionable reputation. When she learns that the school only has three other students, it becomes even more clear that something is amiss. K and her three classmates are employed to steal paintings from several nearby residences in the hope of recovering a pirate treasure. As each successive heist is pulled off, one of the ...more
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Richard Sala grew up with a fascination for musty old museums, dusty old libraries, cluttered antique shops, narrow alleyways, hidden truths, double meanings, sinister secrets and spooky old houses. He has written and drawn a number of unusual graphic novels which often combine elements of classic mystery and horror stories and which have been known to cause readers to emit chuckles as well as gas ...more
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