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Gideon the Cutpurse: Being the First Part of the Gideon Trilogy Hardcover – June 27, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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A compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. "Pax" is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come. Hardcover | Kindle book

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 5-8–Peter and Kate, 12, have literally stumbled from the 21st century back to 1763, and even though they are still in England, many things have changed. Their time travel must be connected to the antigravity machine Kate's father has been working on, but since it has been stolen by a vicious criminal called The Tar Man, they really have no choice but to trust Gideon, the stranger whose offer of help seems genuine enough, even if he is known as a cutpurse. Buckley-Archer may very well give J. K. Rowling a run for her money. This wonderfully rich and complex novel, written in lyrical and vivid language, is destined to be a classic. History interweaves with science, social issues in both centuries are thrown in; yet what readers will remember most is a fast-paced plot with a cliff-hanger ending and multidimensional characters who continue to inhabit their thoughts long after the book is closed. With appeal for reluctant and advanced readers, this novel is a rare gem.–Melissa Moore, Union University Library, Jackson, TN
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. To display this first novel, which sports an impressive die-cut peephole in the embossed case cover, will be to see it circulate. Despite the unusual packaging, though, the plot of book one in the planned Gideon Trilogy will strike many as familiar fare: 12-year-old acquaintances Kate and Peter are whisked back in time to the England of 1763 by an antigravity machine. Transcending the threadbare framework is the role of compassionate Gideon, a reformed cutpurse whose efforts to help the children bring him dangerously close to his ignoble past. As in Eleanor Updale's Montmorency series, the criminal seeking redemption makes a compelling character, and Buckley-Archer's inclusion of present-day scenes, mostly focused on Kate's and Peter's distraught parents, provides a realistic, suspenseful counterpoint to the fantasy. Running gags culled from the time-and-culture differential and de rigueur cameos by historical figures seem contrived, but the pistol-waving encounters with highwaymen and chases through London's underbelly will bring readers back for more. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Series: Gideon Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416915257
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416915256
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda Buckley-Archer is the author of the critically acclaimed Gideon trilogy. Originally trained as a linguist, she is now a full-time novelist and scriptwriter. She has written a television drama for the BBC and several radio dramas, as well as various journalistic pieces for papers like the Independent. The Gideon Trilogy was inspired by the criminal underworld of eighteenth-century London.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I received an Advanced Reader's Edition of this book from the bookstore I work at in February of this year. I read it immediately and have been impatiently waiting for it to be commercially available ever since so that I could recommend it to other people.

Despite being an adult, one of my favorite genres to read is Young Adult Fiction, particularly titles that fall under the fantastical and adventure categories. However, as of late, there have been quite a few titles that seem to be barely disguised knockoffs of "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings". This book is different and it's like a breath of fresh air in the genre.

This book tells the tale two British teenagers who find themselves accidentally transported back in time to the year 1763 where they are befriended by kind gentleman cutpurse named Gideon and an upper class family he has recently been employed by. Of course, before long they are off on the adventure of a lifetime to get their Time Machine back from the creepy and powerful Tar Man (who has a tragic story of his own to be told), while all the while just trying to learn how to live in the 18th Century.

What I enjoyed about this book is that other than the Time Travel itself, the book has no magic and doesn't take place in an alternate land of fantasy. It's firmly grounded in history without the less pleasant aspects of the time being glossed over. That makes other readers' comparison to Mark Twain's work very accurate! It has a lot of gritty adventure including a confrontation with a Highwayman who is not the romantic figure he's often portrayed as. It's a great book for people who love "Harry Potter" dearly, but are looking for something a little different to enjoy until that 7th book comes out.
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Format: Hardcover
A couple of weeks ago, I read a blurb about this book and was intrigued with the headline on the cover ("The past is closer than you think.") The book really has an epic sweep, from the fact that Peter, a young teenager, is clearly looking for his lost father and finds a substitute in Gideon to the fact that the teens who go back in time travel across the British countryside having some amazing adventures as they try to get home. The scene where they approach London,and see it from a distance as it was in 1763, is positively breathtaking. The villain, The Tar Man, well, I don't want to say too much except like the best villains we understand why he is so, and he's responsible an ending that takes your breath away. I've been trying to think about what makes this book feels so special, and I guess it might be that the storytelling is so convincing, and the setting and characters so real. The book doesn't feel gimmicky or forced at all like some books that feel like they are just trying to cash in on the current fantasy craze. Also, just holding GIDEON feels special because it's designed to look like a book from the 18th century. According to the back of the book there's a sequel coming next summer, and you can tell when you're reading it that, while the book was really satisfying, the whole story isn't over. I can't wait!
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Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a good read over the 4th of July weekend, and this caught my eye in the bookstore. I'm an adult, but have always loved a good children's book. I thought this one had everything--great characters (you'll love Gideon, the hero), a really exciting plot (I don't want to give to much away, because there are twists, but the story really keeps up at a good clip) and I loved the sense of being in England in 1763. I also was intrigued that the kids, who go back in time accidentally, can blur into the current time, but not really stay there--so people keep seeing them and thinking they are seeing ghosts! I tell you, this book works on a lot of levels (just wait till they visit Dr. Samuel Johnson), and I really recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Make your youngsters read this book and they will beg to buy the next two in the series. Make them stop using the gameboy, computer, sitting in the a/c, eating candy and goodies and take a trip into the 1700's. Mrs. Archer has done a wonderful job recreating the setting of life in another era, providing an exciting tale, showing how difficult life would have been -- and then providing such a thrill of an ending that the kids will want to read the rest of the series. I try to read ahead of my grandchildren in their fields of literature for appropriate and interesting stories--- and I definately recommend this one. Cudos for Mrs. Archer's time travel trilogy.
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Format: Hardcover
Peter feels he has been brushed off by his father yet again--and he has been. He's been waiting for his birthday treat for months, but his father always has business meetings and is too busy to spend time with him. His mother is off working in Los Angeles, far away from Peter and his father in London. The morning Peter and his father fight about it again, Margrit, the Au Pair, takes Peter with her to visit her friends out in the country.

These friends have a daughter, Kate, who is about Peter's age, twelve. Kate's father takes the two of them, plus Kate's dog, Molly, to the lab where he works. Kate and Peter end up chasing Molly through the halls--a small thing that ends up being very important.

One minute, they're running through the halls of the lab. The next minute, Kate and Peter, along with an antigravity machine that one of Kate's father's colleagues has been working on, have been transported back in time to a grassy hillside in 1763.

Before long, they've met two very different men of that time. The first is the Tar Man, who steals the antigravity machine, which could very well be the key to getting back to the present. The second is Gideon, an enemy of the Tar Man, who decides to help the two children from the future.

Before long, Kate and Peter are on an adventure, headed to London to recover the antigravity machine and get back to their homes and families. On their way, they will encounter highwaymen, make friends (including Gideon), and learn a lot about that time in history--the good and the bad.

Back in present-day England, Peter's parents are frantic with worry.
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