The Thieves of Pudding Lane

Orphaned by the Great Plague of 1665, twelve-year-old Samuel has to learn how to steal to survive on the mean streets of London. Unfortunately for him he's not very good at it. Caught pinching food, he is rescued by an older boy, who suggests Samuel come and meet a man he calls Uncle Jack.

Uncle Jack is a sly, secretive and suspicious figure - and possibly a former pirate - who runs a gang of pickpockets out of a den beneath a tavern on Pudding Lane. When the Great Fire of London breaks out at the other end of Pudding Lane and begins to engulf the city, Uncle Jack sees it as a great opportunity to rob the abandoned homes of the richest people.

But when Samuel and his fellow pickpockets discover a lost little boy hiding in one of the houses, the thieves are split over what to do. As the wall of flame closes in, Samuel is forced to make a decision that could cost him everything.

Aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, The Thieves of Pudding Lane is a fast-paced adventure set during one of British history's most exciting events, but it is also a story about friendship, moral complexities, greed and self-respect.

5 stars: 'Vivid... exciting... a really good novel about one of the most famous events in English history '

'A pacey, atmospheric story full of heart stopping moments... so vividly told you almost feel yourself choking on the smoke.'

'Exciting... very well written, full of dialogue, intense action... it shows the best of human love.'

'An exciting read about desperation, friendship and trust.'

'Exciting adventure... an excellent read.'