A Thief in the Village: And Other Stories

Paperback | February 1, 1990

byJames Berry

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A moving collection of stories from an award-winning author.

Gustas is nearly killed in the hurricane, trying to save his banana tree; Nenna and her brother Man-Man patrol the coconut plantation in the dead of night, ready to catch interlopers; Becky longs for a bicycle and Fanso longs to find his father who walked out thirteen years ago. This is a wonderfully atmospheric collection of contemporary short stories that bring James Berry's Caribbean childhood vividly to life.

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Nine inviting stories reveal Jamaica from salty shore to sun-drenched village. Nenna and her brother Man-Man sneak from shadow to tree trunk in the dead of night, concealing themselves while tracking a coconut thief. Gusta barely survives a violent hurricane, trying to save his fruit-laden banana tree. Becky begs her mother for a bicyc...

From the Publisher

A moving collection of stories from an award-winning author.Gustas is nearly killed in the hurricane, trying to save his banana tree; Nenna and her brother Man-Man patrol the coconut plantation in the dead of night, ready to catch interlopers; Becky longs for a bicycle and Fanso longs to find his father who walked out thirteen years ag...

James Berry was born and grew up in Jamaica. He is a distinguished writer and poet. In 1982 he won the National Poetry Society's Annual Prize for Fantasy of an African Boy, and in 1987. A Thief in the Village was the Grand Prix winner of the Smarties Prize. He lives both in Jamaica and in Sussex.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:148 pages, 7.76 × 5.09 × 0.47 inPublished:February 1, 1990Publisher:Puffin Books

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140343571

ISBN - 13:9780140343571

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

Customer Reviews of A Thief in the Village: And Other Stories

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From Our Editors

Nine inviting stories reveal Jamaica from salty shore to sun-drenched village. Nenna and her brother Man-Man sneak from shadow to tree trunk in the dead of night, concealing themselves while tracking a coconut thief. Gusta barely survives a violent hurricane, trying to save his fruit-laden banana tree. Becky begs her mother for a bicycle, and Fanso longs to know his father who walked out of his life thirteen years earlier.

Editorial Reviews

"The phrases in these stories, all set in Jamaica, are musical in print, even before they are read aloud. ``I know total-total that if I had my own bike, the Wheels-and-Brake Boys wouldn't treat me like that,'' Becky tells readers in ``Becky and the Wheels-and-Brake-Boys,'' and, with those words, her determination is established. By the end of the tale, she gets her wish and rides alongside the boys who had seemed to her fearless. ``Usually I think I live in the poorest back-o'-wall bush place,'' begins the narrator of ``All Other Days Run into Sunday,'' a boy who knows that the mischief of the other days of the week always tries to creep into Sunday's calm specialness. In the title story, an honest man is maligned in such a way that the villagers may never again be so sure of themselves. Berry's prose is liquid and cool; in ``Fanso and Granny-Flo'' and elsewhere his descriptions are so original that the language is rendered meaningful and new: ``Fanso's comings and goings and concerns were so well woven in with his granny's, it was hard to tell he had a big secret worry.'' How better to express the phase when the young adult begins to pull away from childhood? The collection is epiphanic; each story wraps itself around ordinary incidents and transforms them into lore."--Publishers Weekly