Book Review: “The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid”


A fabulous story from start to finish, “The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid” is a book not to be missed. A young boy named Charlie witnesses a band of pickpockets at work while in Marseille, France. This leads him on a journey with horse races, heists, adventures, and the realization that the line between good and bad is not always so clear.

It is a beautifully written story by author Colin Meloy who paints a picture full of adventure and struggle. Meloy creates vivid and lush descriptions that transport you to France and beyond. Paired with drawings by Carson Ellis this book is a piece of art. You really are able to walk side by side with Charlie and explore the world of thievery. The lingo of pickpockets is fascinating as well, and with terms like “beef the gun” (announce that one has been robbed) and “clout and lam” (hit and run), you will learn some fun new phrases. The book is aesthetically beautiful as well with Ellis’ drawings and simple yet intricate cover.

Reader, be warned that there is a price for Meloy’s articulate and detailed writing. Meloy’s writing is not for the faint of heart with lengthy and detail-rich sentences like, “They were indeed affluent; they reeked of wealth and privilege. Charlie immediately recognized them as the types one might see at the gala fund-raisers his father sometimes made him attend, the one who sat smugly at their tables while the neighbors glad-handed them at frequent intervals.” Some might struggle with the wordiness of this book – and it’s 413 pages of story-telling –  but it is certainly worth it.

In the end, this book might not be for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it. If you do give it a chance and find yourself drawn into the world Meloy created, he has also written a series called the “Wildwood Chronicles” that I recommend as well.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars