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Crookhaven: The School for Thieves

Book Synopsis

The first book in the ‘criminally good’ Crookhaven series, the secret school where students are taught to do wrong, so that one day, they can put the world to rights.

13-year-old Gabriel is a brilliant pickpocket, a skill which he uses to keep his often empty belly not quite so empty. And then one day, he’s caught.

But instead of being arrested, he is invited by the mysterious Caspian Crook to attend Crookhaven – a school for thieves. At Crookhaven, students are trained in lock-picking, forgery and ‘crim-nastics’, all with the intention of doing good out in the world, by conning the bad and giving back to the innocent.

But … can you ever really trust a thief?

With a school wide competition to be crowned Top Crook and many mysteries to uncover, Gabriel’s first year at Crookhaven will be one to remember…

Our Review Panel says...

Such a brilliantly clever and unique twist on the boarding school genre, with complex characters and a great plot.

Gabriel has never really felt like he fits in. Abandoned by his parents as a baby, he’s lived with his ‘grandma’ ever since but they have moved house so many times that nowhere really feels like home. Why have they moved house so many times? The answer is that Gabriel has a habit of getting into trouble. Wherever he goes things seem to disappear and he always gets the blame. Until one day, when he picks the pocket of the wrong person (or should that be the right person?) and finds himself enrolled at Crookhaven – a school specifically aimed at honing the skills required of crooks but only so they can use them to put the world right. His lessons include Deception and History of Crookery. He quickly makes friends and throws himself into lessons. But the biggest challenge of the year is the Break-in. The aim? To break into the headteacher’s office and steal something that won’t be missed. Can Gabriel pull it off? And can he do it alone? Also, who are his parents and why did they abandon him?

An exciting start to what promises to be a brilliant series following Gabriel through his years at Crookhaven. The plot is full twists and turns and endearing characters. Just brilliant storytelling – I can’t wait to read the next one.

This book is available on these booklists:

Crookhaven: KS2 Teaching Notes & Resources

A KS2 resource pack provided by the publisher to accompany the book Crookhaven.

Crookhaven: The School for Thieves


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