The Thief Lord
The Thief Lord is a children's novel written by Cornelia Funke. It was published in Germany in 2000 and translated into English by Oliver Latsch in 2002 for The Chicken House, a division of Scholastic publishing company. It was also adapted into a film in 2006.
The Thief Lord follows the story of two brothers, Prosper and Boniface (Bo), who run away to Venice, Italy. They are taken in by a group of street children who live in an abandoned movie theater, the Stella, and are led by a proud orphan named Scipio. He appears to steal valuables and the orphan group sells them to a sly shopkeeper, Ernesto Barbarossa. A customer of Barbarossa, calling himself the Conte, asks the "Thief Lord" to steal a wooden lion's wing for him. The runaway boys' aunt and uncle figure out where they are and set a detective, Victor Getz, on their trail. Victor recognizes the boys on the street and manages to initiate a conversation with innocent little Bo. Bo accidentally lets slip that he lives in old movie theaters. When the rest of the children see Victor, they cause a distraction and run away, taking his wallet with them. In his search for the theater, Victor visits the home of Dottor Massimo, the owner of the Stella, where he sees Scipio, who is actually the son of the rich Dottor Massimo.