Top critical review
Uncomfortable with some of the themes of the book
Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2014
The book is an easy to read tale of a boy and his single parent father which has great potential to spark interesting conversations with children (and adults). What made me uncomfortable about the book was the overall theme: Stealing is okay, especially if it is from a rich person. Other disconcerting ideas from the book included cruelty to animals (as Danny and his father choke and drug pheasants), vandalism (to a person's car) and overall dishonesty which is also supported by the doctor and the religious pastor. In addition, the author seems to focus also on the excitement and adrenalin caused by doing something reckless or illegal. As I was reading I kept thinking to myself, "Could this possible be a satire?" But sadly, that was not the case. I am glad I read this with my daughter so that we were able to take the time to discuss these problematic issues. Danny is a very likeable character who seems at first to be the adult and moral compass of the book. Unfortunately, he falls prey to his father's criminal behavior in his desire to be close to his father.
I gave it three stars because I do think children will enjoy reading it and I do think reading it with a son or daughter (or class) is and excellent way to talk about honesty, good character and making good choices.