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True Stories from the Edge

by Andreas Schroeder

Red Maple Award Storytelling World Awards, Honor Title Our Choice List, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Of all the crimes that human beings commit, stealing is probably the most common.

Willie Sutton was casing a bank when he noticed that the manager looked a lot like Sutton himself, so he walked into the vault, loaded up with banknotes, and calmly walked out. D.B. Cooper hijacked a plane, demanded $200,000 in payment, and parachuted from the aircraft. He was never captured.

Other criminals in this book were no less brazen:
• Arthur Barry, the greatest jewel thief in American criminal history
• Vincente Perugia, who boldly stole one of the world’s greatest art treasures
• Amil Dinsio, one of the most accomplished bank vault robbers in the U.S.
• Victor Desmarais and Leo Martial, a hapless duo who bungled their getaway
• James Landis, who stole two bricks of freshly printed banknotes from his employer—the U.S. Treasury
• Adam Worth, the Napoleon of Crime
• the Great Train Robbers, who planned one of the largest heists of all time
• the five heisters of the Great Purolator Caper, whose ineptitude ensured capture

Be prepared for some high-stakes action in Thieves! While many ended their careers broke and disillusioned, these impresarios of crime make for great reading.


“Clear and easy to read... full of excellent descriptive passages that establish place and time ... Schroeder is outstanding at setting the story’s tone: dramatic, comic, or mysterious.
—CM Reviews, 11/05

“Realistic dialogue and step-by-step descriptions make this work suspenseful and exciting. For true, rousing adventurers ... Schroeder’s compilation can’t be beat.”
—School Library Journal, 03/06

“... high-impact stories ... Pacing is upbeat ... a worthy addition to public and junior high libraries.”
—KLIATT, 02/06

“... fantastic book ... filled with vivid description and humorous twists that younger readers will find appealing and easy to understand. Lovers of non-fiction tales and true crime will also be intrigued. This book would make an excellent addition to a class and/or school library.”
—Resource Links, 04/06


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Andreas Schroeder