Troublemaking George has never heard of Pilfer Academy, a top-secret school for cultivating young crooks, until he's kidnapped as its newest student. The teachers are kooky at best, and naughty does not even begin to describe his sneaky, smart, and morally bankrupt new classmates. Between disguise classes, cracking safes, and DIY gadgets, George becomes an expert bandit and finds true friendship with Tabitha, his new partner-in-crime. But everything is ruined when George comes to a shocking realization: He is just too good-hearted to be a thief!
Unfortunately, not thieving is not an option at Pilfer Academy, and "misbehaving" students face Dean Deanbugle's favorite punishment—the Whirlyblerg! In order to gain their freedom, George and Tabitha must pull the biggest heist the school has ever seen and reveal their true colors not as thieves, but as kind (and, okay, mischievous) kids.
Having adored Lauren Magaziner’s previous book, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN WITCHES, I was delighted to read PILFER ACADEMY, and I was not disappointed. PILFER ACADEMY is a fun story with plenty of puns and humor, guaranteeing reading time filled with laughs. The boarding school type setting makes for exciting adventures and great descriptions.
George makes a great protagonist and even role model. He experiences the rush of doing something bad like thievery, but he has a strong conscious. His character development as he learns to listen to his gut is beautiful, especially when his gut goes against what the people around him think. The friendship with Tabitha is lovely as well. She is the Hermione Granger of the academy, and though she and George have rocky spots in their relationship, genuine respect and acceptance are always there. The author includes a nice variety of minor characters, giving just enough specific detail to distinguish them all but never throwing too many characters in at once to become confusing.
PILFER ACADEMY is destined to steal the laughter, hearts, and possibly wallets of many. This humorous story of thievery and friendship teaches readers to listen to their own voice and watch out for any Whirlyblergs.