Gangster School is a funny, action packed adventure following the most dependable of the new intake of year seven students at Blaggards Gangster School as Milly and Charlie try to fit into their new school, win the converted thievery competition and battle a super villain that’s hell bent on taking down the school and after that world domination.
We watch as quick thinking and resourceful Milly Dillane the daughter of a family of art forgers and skilled hacker Charlie of the family Partridge famous for kidnapping, embark on their first year at the school which is renowned for its output of infamous scoundrels and villains. Both want to make their families proud, but have doubts about their criminal tendencies, feeling like they are much more dependable (honest non-criminals), but also don’t want to end up at the rival school Crumleys a dangerous establishment for lower class of criminals, which is built on a mound of deceased failed students.
Milly and Charlie, become fast friends and allies helping each other navigate through classes, outwitting older students initiation rituals and even thwarting the most infamous evil villain, Pecunia Badpenny who visits the school with the intent on destroying her nemeses the renowned head teacher Ms Martinet, brainwashing all the students and then using her new technology and student criminal army to brainwash the army, and police in her bid for world domination. Using their unique talents and dependable moral compasses, Milly and Charlie along with a little help in the form of Gruffles Charlie’s unruly pet dog, and Badpenny’s unloved robot dog-henchman Wolf, save the school and even win the thievery competition.
With Gangster School Kate Wiseman, has used the ‘fish out of water ‘ concept of new students in boarding school, but has made it very much her own, creating an funny and chaotic world, where the protagonists are undeniably the good guys, but are trying to pass as not-so-good, amongst a cast of shady eccentric and funny characters. This leads to many amusing incidents throughout the story, making for a funny read, both for children and adults, as she uses every criminal cliché with excellent comic effect, personally I loved the nods to early criminal facial profiling with the possibly the best monobrow in children literature!
Gangster school from its vibrant and humorous cover illustrated by Isla Bousfield-Donohoe, to its final chapter is a fun rip-roaring adventure.
Child Review by Spike (a boy who is frugal with words)…
Gangster School is awesome. Is there a real Gangster School? If there is can I go? And if yes, can I have a robot dog?
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