How To Rob a Bank by Tom Mitchell
Published by: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Released: 7th March 2019
Page Count: 288 Pages
Rating: 4/5 ★
Thank you to Harper Collins Children’s for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A life of crime – how hard can it be? A funny, filmic and fast-paced crime-caper.
When fifteen-year-old Dylan accidentally burns down the house of the girl he’s trying to impress, he feels that only a bold gesture can make it up to her. A gesture like robbing a bank to pay for her new home. Only an unwanted Saturday job, a tyrannical bank manager, and his unfinished history homework lie between Dylan and the heist of century. And really, what’s the worst that could happen?
A funny, filmic and ill-advised crime caper.
When 15 year old Dylan burns down the house of his crush accidentally, he feels that a huge gesture is the only way to make it up to her. A gesture like, for example robbing a bank to help pay for her families new job. Cue comical escapades. History homework, an unwanted weekend job and a dictatorial manager are the only things that stand in the way of Dylan and his attempts at the best bank heist of the century.
How To Rob a Bank for me was a comical, super speedy, whimsical, fast paced read that I didn’t want to put down. I found myself laughing out loud through many parts and couldn’t believe some of the sticky situations that Dylan was thrown into. It had the sort of humour that I feel a lot of children find funny and that has to be one of the stand out aspects of the book.
Going on from that, I also loved the fact that the story was based in UK, on the outskirts of London. Reading MG and YA fiction that is based in my home country is something that I relish in. In my opinion it just makes the whole story seem more realistic. It’s also good for young people, as they are able to understand the setting entirely without getting confused with different sayings or words. The descriptions of your typical British post office and bank throughout the book were spot on and had me thinking about my local branches of both establishments. It was so typically British and I adored that feeling.
The plot itself was so fast paced and right from the first page we are put right into the heart of the story. As someone who loves a fast moving plot I was in my element. After each chapter I just wanted to keep reading more. It really pulls you in with cliffhanger chapter endings that end up intriguing you, until you can’t fight it anymore and you have to carry on reading. When a book does that you know you’ve found a great one.
Dylan, was such a realistic teenage character. He was your classic teenage boy and that was a breath of fresh air. Some teenage characters (especially boys) in fiction are so unrealistic and almost godlike that young male readers can’t relate to them. This was certainly not the case with Dylan. He made mistakes, he got himself into sticky situations, embarrassed himself countless times and longed to do well in whatever he did. A lot of young boys will maybe read this and see parts of themselves in Dylan, and I for one can imagine that will be a great feeling.
How To Rob a Bank, overall, was an amusing, chucklesome, wild read and one that I’ll be recommending to my year 5 and 6’s at work. It’s speedy plot and realistic setting and characters make it the perfect read for a young person.