Read advance reader review of Stealing by Margaret Verble, page 2 of 3

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A Novel

by Margaret Verble

Stealing by Margaret Verble X
Stealing by Margaret Verble
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  • Published:
    Feb 2023, 256 pages


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There are currently 21 member reviews
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  • Laurie S. (Lakeville, MN)
    Eye Opening View of Boarding Schools and Indigenous Children
    Although Margaret Verble completed most of Stealing over a decade ago, its publication couldn't be more timely right now with the revelations of the horrors inflicted on indigenous children in boarding school systems.

    Karen "Kit" Crockett, the young mixed-heritage Cherokee narrator, recounts her memories of family and friends layered with the moments when her "whole life" is stolen.

    Acting like her beloved protagonist Nancy Drew, Kit and her memories are slowly pieced together. The reader follows her self-revelations to understand all the ways that children were traumatized when the adults around them viewed the world in only one way and had "the last say."

    Heart wrenching. Eye-opening. A must read.
  • Elise B. (Macedonia, OH)
    I was excited to be offered this book because I was recently in Utah on a Navajo Indian guided tour of Monument Valley. He talked to us about how his grandfather was taken from his home and put into a Christian boarding school. This book was very eye opening on how cruelly the Native American children were treated at these boarding schools. It sheds light on yet one more of the many ongoing sagas the Native Americans have endured throughout the years. Books like 'Stealing' and 'Killers of the Flower Moon' are published, and it never ceases to amaze me how terrible stories like these are lost so quickly. I recommend this book to everybody, as I hate for history to be lost and with it, the powerful lessons (hopefully) learned.
  • Karen B. (Crestwood, KY)
    Compulsively readable literary fiction
    Anne Bogel describes compulsively readable literary fiction as "serious" novels that probe human nature and focus on the interior lives of characters while also being "page-turners" that make you want to know what happens next. Stealing by Margaret Verble falls into that category, delivering both meaning and entertainment.

    Verble authentically captures the voice and perspective of Kit, the child narrator, a character that reminded me of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. I found Verble's writing insightful and enjoyable, and am looking forward to reading more from her backlist. I appreciated how she addressed moral issues without moralizing. I would recommend Stealing to fans of This Tender Land or the Nickel Boys.
  • Cynthia D. (Cuba, NY)
    Cherokee Child
    "Stealing" is the heartbreaking story of now 9 year old Kit Crawford, the only child of a white father and a Cherokee mother, who died of TB when Kit was 6. She lives in rural isolation and spends non-school days fishing by herself on the banks of the bayou. One day she notices that someone has moved into a shack that belonged to her uncle, who was killed in a knife fight. She becomes friends with the beautiful new neighbor, Bella. But Kit is the center of a violent crime and is taken from everyone she knows and loves and moved, first to a "white" fundamentalist Christian home in town, and later to a religious boarding school where she and other Native American children are stripped of their heritage.
    Author Margaret Verble, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and also a Pulitzer Prize finalist for fiction, has written a compelling coming-of-age story that is hard to put down. It is one of the best books I have read in the past year.
  • Stephen, the-freelance-editor
    enjoyable on so many levels
    I found Margaret Verble's novel Stealing to be enjoyable on many levels, however, I particularly enjoyed the easy-flowing exchange of dialog and narrative that gradually unveiled multiple layers of this story. The main storyteller, "Kit", starts us on that journey as a young girl who is living a mostly carefree life of the times. While her mother has died, her father provides for her as a typical working father in the 1950s would have-- with all his soul but not a lot of personal involvement or emotional support.

    Kit wanders, fishes, daydreams, and overthinks as any child will when left on their own, and after a new resident moves in nearby, a natural curiosity leads her to investigate and meet the neighbor. Sadly, when actions are misconstrued and rumors are spread, Kit is forced to see that a larger world view exists-- and has existed for her Native American family over many, many years. The author's use of "flashback" and current happenings might ordinarily be confusing, but Verble leads us flawlessly and knowingly back and forth between the two, revealing a back story that illuminates Kit's current situation.

    I would recommend this novel to advanced YA readers, followers of historical fiction (though I haven't been able to pinpoint to what degree the book is actually "historical"), and those interested in remembering how family and community life in the middle of our last century was for many of us.
  • Mary M. (Swansea, MA)
    Stealing tells the compelling story of a young Cherokee girl, Kit, who is indeed very wise beyond her years. The author's use of Kit as the narrator is powerful! The many truisms that she voices along her journey are rich in insight and often enlighten the reader. She faces the numerous tragic occurrences in her life with guts, patience and determination. The book is a winner and so is Kit!
  • Mary A. (Lake Nebagamon, WI)
    A Story that will stay with me
    Kit Crockett is an innocent, struggling child who is part Cherokee. Her mother passes away and she becomes very lonely. Gardening, reading and fishing on the Bayou takes up her days. She meets a young women on her way to her fishing spot and they become good friends. After tragic circumstances involving her father, Kit temporarily lives with the town preacher and his wife. She sees through the preachers words and intentions causing trouble. The decision is made by adults that she lives in a Christian Boarding School that houses orphans and Indians. In order to survive there she starts to journal the happenings there. Writing gives her hope to someday re unite with her family again. Excellent story on the importance of family and the affect of religion on a child.
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