Today it’s my stop on the ‘Gangster School,’ blog tour with a review of this wonderfully entertaining book. What do you do if your whole plan in life is to become a criminal, where do you go to learn the necessary skills? It’s not as if you can get a G.C.S.E in burglary, forgery or extortion at your ordinary run of the mill school. Your Food Tech teacher might teach you some horribly tasting cooking and your Maths teacher might set you some dastardly algebra questions but when it comes down to it, well that’s not actually illegal. But unknown to the rest of the world – or as we’re secretly known the dependable world – there are in fact top-secret schools for criminals right under our very noses in the most unexpected of places. So if you’re from a family of master criminals like our heroes Milly and Charlie then surely the place you want to be is the top gangster school in the country Blaggards. You would absolutely, most definitely want to be bad if your family was a bunch of villains wouldn’t you? What if your heart wasn’t in lying, cheating or stealing how could you possibly survive? Milly and Charlie soon find out that being criminal enough to keep their place at gangster school is going to be a bigger challenge than stealing the Crown Jewels!
Brilliantly entertaining and criminally good, ‘Gangster School’ is a masterly mayhem of an adventure stuffed full of thrills, danger and downright dastardly behaviour. Kate has constructed a truly believable world where lying and being bad is not just allowed it’s actively encouraged. Where else would you get into trouble for telling the truth to your teacher, get to wear a stripy top and burglar mask for a school uniform and be challenged to demonstrate excellence in unlawful distribution (that’s stealing to you and me by the way) to win a school competition? The whole concept is wonderfully appealing and hugely funny. I love how Milly and Charlie bond over their secret that they not sure if they actually want to be felons like the rest of their family and how they discover that despite their misgivings, Blaggards really is the place they want to be. Full of twists, turns and surprises at every corner this intriguing and hilarious debut has left me wanting more.
Kate lives in Saffron Walden with her husband, her son (when he’s home from university) and three neurotic cats. One of her cats, Maisie, is actually a ghost cat now, but Kate still talks to her every day. Before going to university at the age of 38 to study creative writing, she did lots of different jobs ranging from working in a library to promotions work. When she grew up a bit she worked in schools, doing everything from mopping up sick to judging poetry competitions. She also has a Masters in English Literature, which she took while she was trying to gather the courage to write children’s fiction. The idea for Blaggard’s originated with her son, who used to say that when he grew up he wanted to be an evil genius. He’s now studying history, so perhaps the world is safe. Or is he just biding his time…..?
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour…
Thank you to Zuntold Publishing for inviting me to join in with the blog tour and for sending me a copy of this funny book. ‘Gangster School’ is released on May 21st and is available to pre-order now online or from any good bookshop.