Leon Garfield's Smith is a loveable, heartbreaking rogue of a thief. The book also brings Old London to life - and the people who lived there. The story is fast paced and the characters are true. There is tragedy and evil and redemption - and a freedom from sentimentality. The language is not difficult - it is evocative and emotive and assumes an intelligence in the reader in a sophisticated story. Leon Garfield clearly believed that kids have imaginations that would enable them to enter fully into the London of the Georgian era (not sure WHICH one!).
I love this book and this author and enjoyed every page as I read it to my eight year old son - who loved it too.