Publisher: Chicken House
Magpie is a thief, the best in town – maybe even in the whole of France. But when the mysterious and frightening Madame Delacroix hires her to steal a box from the Montgolfier family, Magpie has no idea that this theft will be life-changing.
The Montgolfiers are busy inventing the world’s first hot air balloon, and Magpie swiftly decides that she wants to help them. But things are not so simple. Before she can fly, she must overcome several dangers and difficulties: English spies, the whims of Marie Antoinette, and of course, the menacing Madame Delacroix.
This engaging story is full of heart and adventure. Magpie is a pleasure to follow on her journey, as she goes from being an outcast to part of a loving family. The novel is based on history, and the role of the animals in the Montgolfier story is especially well handled, with all three animal aeronauts becoming vivid characters in the story. Reading this story may well encourage children to find out more about the historical events.