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|City of saints & thieves|
Author: Anderson, Natalie C.
Sixteen-year-old Tina and two friends leave Kenya and slip into the Congo, from where she and her mother fled years before, seeking revenge for her mother's murder but uncovering startling secrets.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 187286
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 23.0 Quiz: 70652
School Library Journal (00/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 Tina, a Congolese refugee in Kenya, finds herself homeless after her mother is murdered in the home of her employer and lover, Mr. Grayhill. Believing Grayhill to be her mother’s killer, Tina enlists the help of a hacker friend and enters into a deal with a local gang and a ruthless crime boss to grab information about Greyhill’s shady dealings, deliver the info to a journalist, steal his money, and then kill him herself. She is caught at stage one, however, by Greyhill’s son, Michael, with whom she had played growing up. Together, they seek to find out the truth about her mother’s murder, but what they find puts them in more danger than they bargained for and reveals secrets that almost cost them their lives. As the mysteries of Greyhill’s criminal activity and Tina’s mother’s tragic past unfold, readers learn about the corrupt circulation of gold, money, and weapons between the businessmen and the militia in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the compromises people there must make to survive. Tina is a fiercely intelligent, scrappy, and resourceful character worth cheering for, and Michael is touchingly sympathetic as his faith in his father is wrecked by truths that seem as inevitable as they are tragic. The heart-stopping excitement is complemented by the warmth of the relationships between Tina and the people she loves; by setting a fast-paced crime drama with compelling characters in this fraught region, Anderson does the good service of interesting young readers in this ongoing human conflict and the tragic toll it continues to take on the people of the region. An author’s note and glossary are included. KC - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 7–10—Tina has been developing her plan for revenge against her mother's killer for five years, and it's finally time to set it in motion. But things don't go quite as planned when she breaks into Roland Greyhill's palatial estate in the hills above bustling Sangui City, Kenya. Greyhill's son, Michael, who was Tina's best friend when her mother worked as a maid in the house, catches her downloading information from his father's computer. His condition for not turning her in? Teaming up with him to prove that his father is innocent of murder. Tina staunchly believes in Roland's guilt—he and her mother had been having an affair, and her mother's body had been found in Roland's private study. But Tina feels she has no choice but to play along. Their investigation involves members of the local gang Tina joined after her mother's death, smugglers, oil company executives, and a dissolute journalist, and it takes Tina, Michael, and her friend Boyboy into the remote area of Congo where Tina was born as they try to learn whether something in her mother's past led to her death. Themes of war-time horrors, post-traumatic stress disorder, economic disparity, and colonialism are seamlessly woven into a solidly plotted, swiftly paced international murder mystery that's laced with just a hint of romance. VERDICT Highly recommended for teens looking for a gritty, suspenseful, immersive read driven by a tough, smart, realistic heroine.—Stephanie Klose, School Library Journal - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2017 *Starred Review* “If you’re going to be a thief, the first thing you need to know is that you don’t exist.” So begins Congo refugee and Kenyan street gang member Tina’s gripping narrative, a wonderfully twisted puzzle of a murder mystery. Six years ago, Tina’s mother, maid to wealthy Mr. Greyhill, was murdered in his study. Eleven-year-old Tina got her half sister Kiki (Mr. Greyhill’s daughter) a scholarship at a convent school and then disappeared into the streets of Sangui City, where she joined the Goonda gang. Here Tina refined her skills as a thief while carefully plotting revenge on Greyhill, whom she has good reason to believe murdered her mother. Now 17, Tina is ready to put the plan into action by blackmailing and then killing her mother’s assassin. Anderson, who has worked with refugee relief and development in Africa, addresses issues of race, class, and gender as intrinsic plot elements. Tina’s gay friend BoyBoy is an especially sympathetic and compelling character who refuses to join the Goondas, yet lends his computer skills to their many heists. Greyhill’s son Michael, Tina’s childhood playmate, is now both her captor and maybe her love interest, highlighting the tremendous gap between wealth and poverty and the resulting power dynamics. The nicely twisted climax is wholly believable, and readers will be sorry to leave Tina, whose fierce loyalty to family drives her courageous actions. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.