January 2024 Teen Book Club Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
cover image of book Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Little Thieves by Margaret Owen

Once upon a time, there was a horrible girl...

Vanja Schmidt knows that no gift is freely given, not even a mother's love--and she's on the hook for one hell of a debt. Vanja, the adopted goddaughter of Death and Fortune, was Princess Gisele's dutiful servant up until a year ago. That was when Vanja's otherworldly mothers demanded a terrible price for their care, and Vanja decided to steal her future back... by stealing Gisele's life for herself.

The real Gisele is left a penniless nobody while Vanja uses an enchanted string of pearls to take her place. Now, Vanja leads a lonely but lucrative double life as princess and jewel thief, charming nobility while emptying their coffers to fund her great escape. Then, one heist away from freedom, Vanja crosses the wrong god and is cursed to an untimely end: turning into jewels, stone by stone, for her greed.

Vanja has just two weeks to figure out how to break her curse and make her getaway. And with a feral guardian half-god, Gisele's sinister fiancé, and an overeager junior detective on Vanja's tail, she'll have to pull the biggest grift yet to save her own life. (Goodreads synopsis)

How These Live Book Clubs Work

Participation in the live book club includes access to a set of resources and activities as well as interactive components.

Participants receive

  • A suggested reading schedule
  • PDF reading guides with comprehension questions
  • Vocabulary/reading activities
  • Discussion board posts in our online classroom
  • Writing/multimodal project prompts related to the reading
  • An invitation to a live discussion
  • A recording of the summary of the live discussion
  • An optional feedback add-on for the final paper/project
  • Rubrics for at-home feedback

Families are welcome to use as much or as little of the suggested resources and activities as they'd like to fit their interest and schedules.


13 - 18


January 1 - 31, 2024

Live Meeting:

There are two options for attending a live meeting for this club. An afternoon/evening option is offered to accommodate people with different schedules. Please only attend one of these meetings.

A video summary presentation will be made available for those unable to attend the live meeting. To protect participant privacy, recordings of the meetings will not be distributed to anyone who did not attend the meeting.

Note: meetings with fewer than 3 attendees may run a bit shorter depending on how participation goes.

Option 1:

January 25, 2024 (Thursday)

7:00 PM Eastern / 6:00 PM Central / 5:00 PM Mountain / 4:00 PM Pacific Time

Option 2:

January 26, 2024 (Friday)

1:00 PM Eastern / 12:00 PM Central / 11:00 AM Mountain / 10:00 AM Pacific Time


A copy of the book Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
(Edition information here, audiobook available). Borrowed, used, and audio formats will work.

  • Zoom account for live session
  • Microphone and camera for live session (optional)
  • PDF reader
  • Access to printer if you want to print worksheets

Content Note:

Author's note at the start of the book:

"This is a story about many things, beautiful and ugly, painful and true. There are discussions of child abuse and neglect, navigating abusive environments, and trauma from a past attempted assault. For many of us, these are wounds, and I have tried to give them air here without tearing at the hard-won stitches. Still, I trust you to know your scars."

Tasteful discussions of romantic/sexual activity (non-graphic), romantic gestures.

Generally appropriate for teens.

Positive representation: Demisexual / Asexual main characters, two moms, queer relationships, positive masculinity, diverse femininities, economic inequality.

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