Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 3 - 7n/an/an/an/a

From the creators of the New York Times bestselling Wildwood Chronicles comes an original, humorous, and fast-paced middle grade novel about a band of child pickpockets—imagine The Invention of Hugo Cabret meets Oliver Twist.

It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored, lonely Charlie Fisher witnesses something incredible. Right before his eyes, in a busy square in Marseille, a group of pickpockets pulls off an amazing robbery. As the young bandits appear to melt into the crowd, Charlie realizes with a start that he himself was one of their marks.

Yet Charlie is less alarmed than intrigued. This is the most thrilling thing that’s happened to him since he came to France with his father, an American diplomat. So instead of reporting the thieves, Charlie defends one of their cannons, Amir, to the police, under one condition: he teach Charlie the tricks of the trade.

What starts off as a lesson on pinches, kicks, and chumps soon turns into an invitation for Charlie to join the secret world of the whiz mob, an international band of child thieves who trained at the mysterious School of Seven Bells. The whiz mob are independent and incredibly skilled and make their own way in the world—they are everything Charlie yearns to be. But what at first seemed like a (relatively) harmless new pastime draws him into a dangerous adventure with global stakes greater than he could have ever imagined.

Paperback, 432 pages
Published on March 5, 2019 by Balzer + Bray
ISBN-10: 0062342460
ISBN-13: 9780062342461
1 Book Review
  • bookwormmm
    bookwormmmWednesday, November 25, 2020 at 10:17 am55 starsFeatured
    The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid is about a young boy named Charlie Fisher. While casually sitting on a public bench, he experiences an elaborate pick pocketing routine in action right before his eyes. A young pick pocket named Amir soon joins him on the bench and Charlie experiences his fancy fountain pen being stolen from him without him even noticing. Amir catches the attention of some police officers and instead of turning him in, Charlie defends him. In return of him saving Amir from the police, an intrigued Charlie asks Amir to teach him the ways of pick pocketing. Somewhat reluctant at first, Amir agrees. When learning the tricks of pick pocketing, Charlie meets and joins a group of pick pockets named the Whiz Mob. All of the members of the Whiz Mob were trained at the ominous and mysterious School of the Seven Bells. What seemed to be learning a few tricks at first, Charlie now finds himself tangled in the web of the network of pick pocketing. The dangerous consequences of the reality of pick pocketing seeps into Charlie’s once peaceful life. Will Charlie be able to come out of this perilous adventure? I really loved this book. I loved the sense of adventure! I also immensely enjoyed the cool facts and things about pick pocketing that the author incorporated into the story. Definitely recommend!