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The Fire Thief
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About the Author

Terry Deary writes both fiction and non-fiction and has had over 120 books published in the UK. Many of these have been translated into 28 languages and appear in another 250 editions around the world. Terry is most famous for his Horrible Histories series (Scholastic) of which five million copies of the series have been sold worldwide and which ITV recently turned them into a TV series. Terry has won numerous awards, including being voted by Blue Peter viewers as author of the "Best Knowledge Book of all Time" and the "Best Non-fiction Author of the Century". He also dominates the annual list for children's library borrowings.

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Gr 4-6-In highly irreverent fashion, Deary retells the myth of Prometheus as a time-travel adventure. After enduring 200 years of punishment for stealing fire from the gods, Prometheus has managed to kill the Avenging Fury. Before he can escape, however, Zeus issues a challenge: find one true hero. Prometheus travels into the future, with the resurrected Fury in pursuit, and arrives in a murky factory town in 1858. He falls in with a pair of itinerant thieves: a young orphan and his "Uncle" Edward. They gain admittance to wealthy homes, and while Uncle Edward stages a theatrical performance in the downstairs parlor, Jim steals valuables upstairs. The story switches back and forth from ancient Greece to 1858 until the two narratives come together as related by young Jim, who aspires to become a writer. He interrupts the story with footnoted asides that are often funny, but that slow the pace and add to an already complicated plot. Deary crams his tale with wordplay, zany characters, and allusions: Eden City, Dickens (including quotes from A Tale of Two Cities), a pathetic match girl hovering at death's door, and a mayor named Wallace Tweed, among others. The characters fail to develop beyond stereotypes, and the plot twists unroll all too predictably.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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