2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Classic Tale of a Young Pickpocket,
This review is from: Smith (Puffin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This book has all the elements of a classic, which is what it has become. I don't need to defend that view particularly - the book was written in the 1960s and it is still being read today, so clearly generations have loved this children's book.
Smith is a London pick pocket in the 18th century. He has made it to the age of 12 without being caught or otherwise killed, but then one night death pays a visit close to him as he witnesses the murder of the man he pick pocketted some 15 seconds earlier. Unwittingly Smith has stolen the very document the murderers would kill for and events tumble headlong towards their inevitable and wonderful conclusion. On the way there is a good deal of humour and intrigue, and the book is very readable.
Because it was written in the 1960s this book does show its age a little in the style of writing. Nevertheless in this story, that perhaps adds something to the setting. There were a few inconsistencies in the style (particularly the cockney dialect used), but despite a few blemishes this is a book that children aged 9 or 10 upwards could really get into and enjoy. It also does not disappoint adult readers.