Grape Thief by Kristine L. Franklin

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With refreshing honesty, heart, and humor - and a compelling young narrator - the author of the award-winning LONE WOLF takes readers back to 1925, and a place where a boy must become a man all too soon.

It’s 1925 in multiethnic Roslyn, Washington, and twelve-year-old Slava has earned the nickname "Cuss" because he can swear in fourteen languages. In fact, Cuss loves languages, period: unlike his older brothers, who left school after sixth grade to work in the coal mines, he likes reading about as much as he likes goofing around with his friends - or planning the great grape heist of Roslyn. But when bootleggers stir up trouble and force his big brothers to skip town, Cuss feels the weight of family responsibility dropping onto his shoulders. How can he hold on to his dream to stay in school - and still do the honorable thing by his ma and little brother?

About Kristine L. Franklin

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Kristine L. Franklin is the author of several novels for young readers, including ECLIPSE, NERD NO MORE, DOVE SONG, and the best-selling LONE WOLF, a SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Best Book of the Year. She says, "Cuss is a fictional boy who originated in stories my father told me about growing up in Roslyn. In doing research for this book, I discovered my own roots, and learned how much it cost my grandparents to settle here so their children and grandchildren could have what they themselves had never known - full bellies, education, and above all, the freedom to dream.
Published April 1, 2003 by Candlewick. 304 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Beyond his ability to swear in 14 languages, and thus his nickname, “Cuss,” Slava is a top student about to enter the seventh grade, the farthest anyone in his family has ever gone to school.

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Publishers Weekly

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Cuss's observations and experiences pack a wallop, such as when his best friend brags about pocketing a dime a week of his wages and Cuss plays along, but understands this means "they were worse off than I'd figured."

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