Saturday, November 17, 2012

"City of Thieves" by Adurey Cuff Ed. D. Book Review

Title: City of Thieves
Author:  Audrey Cuff  Ed.D
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing    .
Length:   Novel
When Ashley Brown was five years old, her parents left her in the care of her Grandma, though her mother promised to return for her. At fourteen, Ashley is still living with her grandmother in Highland, a city on the outskirts of Maryville, a place known as the “ghetto.”
Ashley has shadowy memories of her mother taking her to her favorite place, the library. Reading a good book allows Ashley to escape her poverty and crime infested community.
One afternoon after listening to the Mayor’s press conference, Ashley discovers that the Mayor is taking away the community library. In spite of being put on punishment for a week by her Grandma for defending herself from the school bullies, Ashley feels it is worth the risk to sneak out of her apartment to mail a letter she has written to the Mayor about keeping the library open.
Every day homeless people approach her and beg for something to eat or for money. The most frequent requests come from two disheveled individuals Ashley has nicknamed “Orphan Annie” and the “business-man bum.”  As if escaping the homeless people isn’t enough, there are a bunch of bullies who harass Ashley. One day, the bullies chase her into an alley. They force her to the ground and Ashley is afraid of what could have happened next. This is one time Ashley wished she listen to her Grandma.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a short, easy-to-read young adult book that is clean and features a nice story.  There is no profanity nor sex scenes, and it is such a nice story that it stretches the realms of reality.  I say this because it seems like no matter where you turn in the book, a "Disney" ending appears imminent.  That's what I wish would have been different.  I like a happy ending as much as anyone, but I believe that there should be a good share of hardships that occur before everyone lives happily ever after.  I truly felt the book lacked meat, but I have to remember that it is written to a young adult audience not and old fuddy-duddy like me.

What I liked about the book was that the community members began to get involved in the school.  The school was literally falling apart in more than one way, but Ashley is instrumental in changing all that.  The message of the book is one that should resonate with everyone.  One person can make a difference.  And in the case of this story, that one person did. I think this is a good reminder to kids (and adults) that don't want to stand up and take a risk.  What if everyone had the same mindset that they could not make a difference?  Nothing would get done!

If you would like to read a clean young adult book with a positive message (even if the story is somewhat far-fetched at time), this may very well be the book for you.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews


I am a special teacher in the south jersey school district.  I have been special education teacher for the past eleven years. I teach psychology to 9th grade students. My students nominated me for the Outstanding American Teachers. I am the author of the book City of Thieves which is one of a three book series called the Ashley Brown series. My certifications include teacher of psychology, teacher of special education, and supervisor of education.  City Thieves is part of a series called the Ashley Brown series.


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