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Thumb and the Bad Guys

Written by Ken Roberts

Illustrated by Leanne Franson

  • 120 Pages
  • 9781554981649
  • Reading age from 7 to 10
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Readers / Chapter Books



Publication Date August 01, 2009

Thumb and his best friend, Susan, love movie nights, when the entire community of New Auckland gathers in the school gym to eat popcorn and watch videos. Mostly they are movies about bad guys being tracked down by cool detectives. It's the villains, Thumb realizes, that make life interesting. If only he could track down a bad guy.

But New Auckland is a remote fishing village. There are only 143 people in the entire community. How could there possibly be bad guys around? Thumb is determined, and so he and Susan conduct a stakeout. Their suspicions soon focus on Kirk McKenna, a toothless, bald fisherman. They track Kirk to a hidden shed in the woods, where they hear the muffled but chilling sounds of wailing. Meanwhile, their teacher sends the kids off to solve a different kind of mystery -- an archeological one that leads them to the possible site of an early European gun placement. Suddenly mysteries abound for Thumb and his friends.

Selected for the USBBY Outstanding International 2010


Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts is the author of several popular books for young readers, including Hiccup Champion of the World, Crazy Ideas, Pop Bottles, Nothing Wright, Past Tense (shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award) and two highly praised previous Thumb books — The Thumb in the Box and Thumb on a Diamond (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice, SSLI Honor Book, Horn Book Fanfare Top Ten List). Ken is chief librarian of the Hamilton Public Library. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Leanne Franson
Leanne Franson is a children's book illustrator who was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and who lives now in Montreal. She has illustrated the books in Ken Roberts' Thumb series.


Star Review

"...[Roberts is] adept at creating adventure...Characterization is again piquant..." Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

"Roberts' novel is nicely eccentric and breezy." Toronto Star

" to read [and] well written." Resource Links

"With its blend of creepiness, mystery, and humor, this story will be eagerly welcomed by fans of Thumb and Susan, but it stands alone... Franson's black-and-white graphic style illustrations enhance the suspense." School Library Journal

"...Ken Roberts scores another home run." Globe and Mail