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The Child Thief

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Alexa Giroux

on 11 December 2014

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Transcript of The Child Thief

The Child Thief
by Brom

Historical context
The story mainly takes place in New York and on the island of Avalon. It has 2 main timelines:
1400 years ago

Author Background:
Gerald Brom, author and illustrator of the book The Child Thief, was born in 1965 in Albany, Georgia. He is known professionally as Brom. Being the son of a U.S. Army pilot, he spent a lot of his childhood in countries such as Japan, Germany, and U.S. states like Hawaii and Alabama.

Brom says that from his earliest memories, he has always been obsessed with the creation of the weird, the monstrous and the beautiful. He has been drawing and painting since a young age, learning by admiring other artists' work.


He is a red-headed, elf-eared, mischievious boy who leads his fearsome clan of Devils. He lives on the magically-protected island on Avalon and saves troubled children in New York by bringing them to the island. Peter was abandoned by his family whenhe was only an infant because his rapid intellectual development and pointed ears proved he was a magical being, which were considerd cursed in their ancient village. He was was brought up in the woods by an old troll named Goll and found his way to Avalon a few years later, making a home on the island with The Lady. Peter despises the human world because he believes society has its was of sucking the natural magic out of children until they are hollow and unhappy.
He is a teenage boy who was saved by Peter after being caught stealing drugs from his supplier. Nick unwillingly became a New Blood and didn’t purposely reach Avalon, since he thought Peter was only pranking him. This made him very reluctant about training with the Devils. He is brave and makes friends easily.
She is the oldest of the Devils and trains the new initiates so that they can become clan. She was saved by Peter when the white men arrived in North America and brought diseases that killed her family and most of her tribe. Sekeu is a skilled fighter and cares deeply for her fellow Devils. She and Peter are very close.
The Lady
She is Avalon’s life source and controls the Mist, which keeps the island safe from mankind. She is the one who grants Peter a home among her kingdom of magical beings when he was just a child. As the Flesh-eaters ravage more and more of the island, she becomes progressively weaker and has to slip into a deep sleep.

He is the son of the Horned One, a great swordsman
who died fighting the Flesh-eaters. Since his father’s death when he was just a child, Ulfger has become bitter and had his childhood cut short. When his father died, The Lady slipped into her deep sleep and he had to become the leader of all the creatures of Avalon, save the Devils and the Flesh-eaters. Ulfger despises Peter deeply because he stole The Lady’s attention. During a fight between the two, Peter had ripped Ulfger’s ear off.

They are zombie-like creatures who want nothing but to destroy every living thing on Avalon so that The Lady will die along with it. This will cause the Mist to leave and they will finally be able to leave the island. Flesh-eaters are ruthless and savage creatures who were once human adults who accidentally found their way onto the island. Their souls have been burnt because the island permits only creatures with magic inside them to stay.

New Bloods

Outgoing, petite, 13 year-old girl who has bad family problems. She is the first to introduce herself to Nick.


Scrawny 14 year-old boy with self-confidence issues. He set his school on fire and had to run away. Good friends with Nick. Horrible fighter.

large boy who enjoys bullying other new bloods. unable to become a devil.
Plot Sketch: Peter's backstory
Peter is born in the 6th century and is abandoned by his family when he was only an infant because he had magic in him. In the woods, an old troll named Goll finds him and raises him until he is a child. Peter wanders into his old village and humans chase him into the woods with their weapons. They find Goll and kill him before Peter makes his way back. Homeless and on the run, he runs into 3 little witches that bring him to Avalon, the most beautiful, lush and magical place Peter has ever seen. There, he meets the Lady and agrees to live amongst her kingdom of magical beings.
A few hundred years pass and Avalon sees the arrival of men, accidentally stumbling onto the island and being turned into FLesh-eaters due to the fact that they don't have any magic. With the number of Flesh-eaters rising, Avalon's wildlife begins to suffer and The Lady, who is the lifesource of the island, drifts into a deep sleep so that she can maintain the Mist barrier to conceal the island from mankind. Ulfger becomes the leader of all the creatures but refuses to wear the Horned One's armor. Peter sees that he must take matters into his own hands and creates his own army:
The Devils.
Plot sketch: Nick's story
Nick lives in New York in present times. His mother is accidentally caught in a drug ring and to help fix the situtation, Nick decides to steal his supplier's stash. He gets caught, but just as he is about to be killed, Peter swoops in and saves the day. They escape and go rob a store for a pair of Vans for Nick. Peter explains to Nick all about the magic children have in them and how it dies when humans grow up. He also tells him about Avalon and Nick just thinks
Peter is really high so he follows him into the Mist. Once they are across, Nick panicks and realizes that Avalon is real and that he will truly have to train to be a Devil. At first he is very reluctant. Then, he makes friends like Cricket and Danny, who are both New Bloods as well. He likes Sekeu also, who trains them. The only things he doesn't like are the small food portions and Leroy's constant bullying.
On their first food run, they realise that on the other side of the island, the Flesh-eaters had started burning what was left of greenery and wildlife. They get back to Deviltree and tell Peter. He decides to make one last quick run to find troubled kids to join in the Devils. And after that, they must stage their first attack and wage a brutal war against the most ruthless of enemies...
the Flesh-eaters.

The theme of this book is family because we see the importance of giving a child a true home. This is represented through the uprbringing of Peter with Goll and The Lady and with the Devils and their feelings of love and belonging to their clan.

Alternate title and book cover
Dying Magic
Topic of research
My research topic was to dive into J. M. Barrie's 1911 original story of Peter Pan. The real story is a contrast with the well-known Disney story but has dark elements, just as "The Child Thief" does.

Psychopomp theory
The hook theory
The brother theory
And now...
Game Time!
Full transcript