Wild Things: YA Grown-Up discussion

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, #1)
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Book Club Discussions > September: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

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message 1: by Jennifer W, WT Moderator (new)

Jennifer W | 1289 comments Mod
Starting the discussion for The Thief our September winner.


Heather Bree (blackdotbug) I read these forever and a day ago, and I don't remember much. Anyone reading it this month?


Kellyflower | 136 comments I may try to read this again. I got half way thru it and stopped. It felt very young to me, but everyone else raves about them.


Cheryl (cherylllr) I read it in two days, just finished a couple of hours ago. I can see how fans of fantasy & quests would definitely like it. It was more creative than many, and it was a simpler, more accessible, court intrigue-type story, too. However, it just didn't do much for me, personally, sorry.


Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) (alybee930) | 446 comments Kellyflower wrote: "I may try to read this again. I got half way thru it and stopped. It felt very young to me, but everyone else raves about them."

When I read it, I was actually surprised that it had been in MG. It seemed like young YA to me. I found it a little slow at first but I ended up really liking it.


Cheryl (cherylllr) Any of you have a guess why the Newbery commitee liked it? I thought the books that won honors had to have some socially redeeming value, or were in some way educational or civilizing... not just entertaining - ?


Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) (alybee930) | 446 comments From ALA's award page:
The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. On June 22, 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed the award to the American Library Association meeting of the Children's Librarians' Section and suggested that it be named for the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by the children's librarians, and Melcher's official proposal was approved by the ALA Executive Board in 1922. In Melcher's formal agreement with the board, the purpose of the Newbery Medal was stated as follows: "To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children's reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field."

Cheryl - most distinguished can have a lot of interpretations. I sat on a local book awards committee and the discussions about the top book choices can be intense. I will say a lot of thought typically goes into the decision. But can't speak for that committee's decision. In some ways the book is unique and somewhat different from a lot of the other books out there.


message 8: by Cheryl (last edited Sep 09, 2010 01:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cheryl (cherylllr) Thank you Alyson. Yes, I can imagine different perspectives can lead to some intense discussions. I would certainly expect some sort of extra value in Newbery books than just a good read.

I asked my 14 yo son, who has read & enjoyed the first three, and he says that the educational value is that a reader is shown not to judge things or people by what they seem. The object of the quest looks like a river rock; the thief looks like a illiterate bastard; the older apprentice looks like someone who would value honor, etc.....


message 9: by M. (new) - rated it 3 stars

M. B. I just finished reading this a couple of weeks ago. And yes, it did come highly recommended so I thought to check it out since I love the fantasy genre. I thought it was okay, but it really didn't grab my interest.

To some, it's slow going, especially because you don't really get to know the characters right away, especially the main character. There were times that I was actually a bit bored towards the middle of the book, and it was only in the end where I thought... wow! now that's a twist!

Cheryl, I do agree with our son, though. It is a really good moral to the story. Nothing appears to be what it seems in the story. It's just unfortunate that we had to find that out right at the end of the story. It just made me question so many things and left me hanging.


Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) (alybee930) | 446 comments Actually I think Cheryl's son did a great job summing it up. And since it is part of a series I would expect some things to be left open. I still have to read the other 3. Now to find the time....


Josie (maid_marian) | 126 comments I personally love this series, but I do definitely think that The Thief is a book you appreciate/like more on a second reading - only then do you realise how clever the author has been to keep such a secret from the reader, especially as it's written in first person (the term 'unreliable narrator' comes to mind)! But what's more, on the second (or in my case, fifth!) reading, you can pick up on all the little clues she drops, and how things you took one way the first time mean something totally different the second...


Kristen Harvey | 1046 comments Yeah, to comment on how it become a Newbery honor.. I just remember when Neil Gaiman's book winning and thinking huh... cause it was an abnormal winner.

I just finally read The Thief for the first time and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to get to the rest of the series.

I think it has a nice twist at the end that really made me think back to everything that had happened in the novel.


Ashley (affie) | 468 comments I thought it was interesting that we were thrown right into the middle of the story. I think that's why the author was able to get away with everything she did. Everything we learn about how Gen came to be in prison comes from comments or moments that bring it up in conversation or to Gen's thoughts.

I've read a lot of Newbery books, both winners and honors and I can see why it was chosen. I enjoyed it a lot, but I do wish that some of the events at the end had been given more time. I found myself rereading sections just to make sure that I wasn't missing anything.

But, I really liked it and am excited to read the rest of the series. I had thought it was finished with 3, but the 4th just came out, and I hear that there is a 5th in process...


Heather Bree (blackdotbug) I'm reading the fourth now, and I wish it hadn't been so long since I read the other three. I'm really quite confused about how Attolia and Eddis and Sounis all relate and interact. The leaders of each of these three powers seem to be all intertwined and I can't remember all the political meanderings. There's hardly any recap in this one. I'm at a loss.


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