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Master Crook's Crime Academy

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Master Crook's Crime Academy is a 4-part crime series by Terry Deary. The saga is set in the Victorian Era - 1837, and follows the adventures of Smiff Smith and his companion; the story arc being the misdeeds of juvenile felons and the mystery of Master Crook's identity. The prime suspect is Mr Dreep, but the author provides evidence suggesting otherwise. The series has also been adapted into an animated TV show, which has an ‘Oliver Twist’ style setting, and is set at the time the first police officers were introduced to England. The animation style has been describes as ‘Ice Age’ meets ‘Tim Burton’.[1] Terry is in discussions to turn the books into an international animated film series.[2]

Book series[edit]

  1. "Burglary for Beginners" - 6 April 2009 ISBN 1-4071-1015-2 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png. [1]
  2. "Robbery for Rascals" - 1 June 2009 ISBN 1-4071-1016-0 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png. [2]
  3. "Classes in Kidnapping" - 03 Aug 2009 ISBN 1-4071-1074-8 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png. [3][4]
  4. "Safe-cracking for Students" - 4 Jan 2010 ISBN 1-4071-1075-6 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png. [5][6]


The story begins as Smiff Smith is told to rob a bucket for his mother. While doing so a mysterious man named Dreep approaches his mother with the prospect of bringing little Smiff under his wing and teaching him how to commit crimes the professional way; without the wait of practise or a complicated fee; with Smiff's mother receiving half the profits. Smiff then meets another child and they become collaborators, teaming up in their first professional robbery, a robbery of the town mayor. Mayhem, among other things, ensues.

Critical response[edit]

Jim Sheng of Iworth's Blog [7] said of the series: "This book is quite funny, just as one of the reviewer said: a book this funny should be against the law!" Liam H of Shelfari [8] said of Burglary for Beginners: "I didn't mind this book, I probably would've enjoyed it more if I was in grade 3-4 so on, but it was written by a very creative person with a good sense of humour. It is good for young readers, and this ties in nicely with the horrible history books." Eileen McKnight-Smith, a bookseller commented on TheBookseller.com [9], about the selling of the title Burglary for Beginners: "The first book in the series...Burglary for Beginners... is already selling like hot cakes...one of the best children's novels I have read in a long time. I'm really looking forward to the whole week especially as it involves dressing up...still not sure whether to be a Rotten Roman or a Vile Victorian... well, even a poor bookseller's entitled to some happiness." An entry for Safe-cracking for Students at Christchurt Kids Blog [10] said: "This is the latest book in the Master Crook’s Crime Academy series by the author of the Horrible Histories books. Wildpool’s filthy rich are delighted – with a new bank in town, at last their money will be safe from thieving hands. But they haven’t banked on the wit, skill and genius of the Crime Academy students, who are preparing for the greatest bank robbery of all time. If you like books with a bit of history and a lot of laughs, this is for you."


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2010-12-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. Design, Deanzod Web. "Television and Movies". www.terry-deary.com.

External links[edit]

Other articles of the topic Children's literature : The Party Line (books), Bridget Renee Kendall, A Life of Faith, Slawter, Wubba Wubba Wubba, Twisted Tales (book series), Fuzzbuzz
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