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Crookhaven The School for Thieves

On sale

2nd March 2023

Price: £7.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781444965735

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Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2023

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.

“So this is really a school for criminals.” It was meant as a question, though it came out more as an accusation.

“We are so much more than that,” Caspian said, sitting in a plush leather chair and gesturing for Gabriel to sit in a similar one across the table. “We are a home for the forgotten, a sanctuary for the lost and … yes, a training ground for the greatest crooks of the future.”

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…

An irresistible series about chosen family, high stakes thievery, and what it really means to do good. Perfect for fans of M.G. Leonard and Anthony Horowitz.


Philip Womack, Literary Review
This debut puts a lovely new spin on the classic school story, offering a strong sense of community and togetherness in the face of adversity. It will tickle and thrill young miscreants of ten and up.
Nicki Thornton, author of The Last Chance Hotel
Crookhaven is criminally good fun!
The Daily Express
Gabriel Avery is a pickpocket, and a very good one at that. Crookhaven is a school teaching criminal skills from lock picking to forgery and, when the head spots his talents, he's invited to join. His unorthodox education also leads to him uncovering some surprising family secrets.
Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times
Lively storytelling for, well, yes, fans of Harry Potter.
Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post
With its Robin Hood vibes, themes of family and friendship, and exploration of what it really means to do good, Crookhaven is a thrilling, escapist adventure full of secrets and skulduggery, and with an imaginative power that marks out an exciting and empathetic new voice in children's fiction. It would be a crime to miss the fun!