Book Review, Books!, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Middle Grade March: Story Thieves by James Riley

Hey all, Dani here.

So, I kinda dropped the ball last week and didn’t get my book reviews posted up. Basically I’m going to make up for it by posting extra reviews this week. Today I’m thrilled to be talking about a middle grade book that I actually discovered randomly at the store earlier this month. Honestly, the idea sounded fantastic so I couldn’t hold off on reading it.



Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.

But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.

Bethany can’t let anyone else learn her secret, so Owen makes her a deal: All she has to do is take him into a book in Owen’s favorite Kiel Gnomenfoot series, and he’ll never say a word. Besides, visiting the book might help Bethany find her father…

…Or it might just destroy the Kiel Gnomenfoot series, reveal Bethany’s secret to the entire world, and force Owen to live out Kiel Gnomenfoot’s final (very final) adventure.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a solid story. It was a cute, clever, amusing adventure of a boy who finds real life boring and wants to escape, and a half-fictional girl searching for her fictional father in all the wrong books. One agreement between the two leads to a crazy journey where Owen has to become his favorite character and live out the final book in the series, while Bethany is in the real world trying to prevent things from getting far worse.

There were several times where I was laughing because of something the characters said or did. Oh, and then there was the characters mentioning other books written by James Riley, which I found highly amusing.

Oh, I suppose I should mention that there are similarities to Harry Potter, at least when it comes to the Kiel Gnomenfoot stories. But the great part with this is that Story Thieves does not shy away from this fact. Owen even comments that some fans of the Kiel Gnomenfoot stories have made comparisons. I really liked those references.

It was nice to see the character development. Owen, Bethany, and Kiel were all cool and relatable kids, and that made me interested in their story. Owen was such a fanboy of so many book series that I couldn’t help but enjoy his character. He reminded me of me in a number of ways. Bookworms are some of the best characters in books, or at least that’s how I see them.

The clever imaginings of this tale drew me in, and I found myself flying through the pages. I’m so glad that I picked up this book. I really enjoyed reading this, and will probably read the rest of the series in the future, just to find out what happens the next time Owen and Bethany jump into a story.

Where to Buy

You can pick up Story Thieves from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

3 thoughts on “Middle Grade March: Story Thieves by James Riley”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s