Highway Robbery (Hardcover)

Highway Robbery By Kate Thompson, Robert Dress (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate Thompson, Robert Dress (Illustrator)
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Summer 2009 Kids' List

“The narrator, a barefoot street urchin, might be telling the truth about why he has a black mare to sell, but he gives us plenty of reasons to wonder. Did he once live in a house, have shoes, and eat regular meals? Did a mysterious horseman ride up one day, dismount, hand him the reins and offer to pay him to watch the horse awhile? Did soldiers come looking for the famous highwayman Dick Turpin, and why were they so certain that the horse was Dick Turpin's famous mare, Black Bess? The book will make a great discussion vehicle as readers consider the truth of the matter.”
— Carol B. Chittenden, Eight Cousins, Falmouth, MA


The rider sprang off as light as a cat and pulled the reins over the horse's head. Then he marched straight over to me and put them into my hand.

"Hold the mare for me, lad. And when I come back, I'll give you a golden guinea."

A dark stranger leaves his magnificent horse in the care of a boy he's never met. As dusk falls, others offer to pay the boy handsomely for the animal. Then soldiers arrive, demanding to know where the horse's owner has gone.

Could the stranger be the notorious Dick Turpin, known for his daring holdups and amazing exploits? Is the horse the legendary Black Bess? And will the boy ever see the reward he's been promised?

There's mischief in the air, but it isn't entirely clear who's causing it.

About the Author

Kate Thompson lives on the west coast of Ireland, which provides inspiration for the Irish magic, music, and landscape in the award-winning The New Policeman and The Last of the High Kings.

Praise For…

“It’s a suspenseful and tautly written story as is, and Thompson’s sly twist makes it all the richer.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This short chapter book with plentiful pen-and-ink drawings supplied by Dress, large font and lines spaced apart for easy reading is just the thing for those leaving early readers behind and wanting fast-paced action, dry humor and an ending that leaves room for discussion.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A narrative rich in language, told with panache and begging to be shared aloud, along with Duddle and Dress’s comical, detailed sketches of its Dickensian denizens and the romantically elegant Black Bess.” — The Horn Book

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061730344
ISBN-10: 0061730343
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 26th, 2009
Pages: 128
Language: English