How to Rob a Bank

How to Rob a Bank

How to Rob a Bank
Tom Mitchell

HarperCollins Children's Books

ISBN 9780008276508

A hilarious, filmic and fast-paced crime-caper by 2019's funniest new voice in teen fiction, ideal for readers aged 11 and up. Some people rob banks because they're greedy. Others enjoy the adrenalin rush. Me? I robbed a bank because of guilt. Specifically: guilt and a Nepalese scented candle... 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, cinematic, ill-advised comedy-crime adventure perfect for gamers, heist movie fans, and anyone who loves a laugh.

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Reviews

How to Rob a Bank4/5

How to Rob a Bank

Tom Mitchell

Review

15 year old Dylan Thomas (who is utterly sick of everyone asking 'Have you written any poetry yet?') wants to impress Beth by getting her just the right birthday present. He decides on a scented Nepalese candle. He gives it to her, she lights it, it stinks. They blow it out and throw it in the bin. Next thing they know, her house has burnt down - and it turns out the family had no insurance. Beth's family have lost everything, and can't afford to pay the deposit on the tiny flat they've had to move in to. Convinced it is all his fault, Dylan decides to take action, to make a big gesture and to help out in the only way he can think of: he plans to rob a bank, armed with only a USB stick and a Saturday job. He just needs to finish his history homework first...

How To Rob A Bank is a fun teen crime caper, with a likeable, if slightly misguided, main character. There were some genuinely funny moments in the book (most notably involving a cat and a satellite dish), but there were a couple of things that didn't quite win me over. There is an air of unbelievability to the story: the bank manager is a bit of a pantomime villain, and the romance element felt a bit forced. Is bank robbing technology that readily available, and is it really that easy for a 15 year old to get hold of? However, these were largely minor quibbles - what's a novel without a bit of suspension of disbelief?

This book would appeal to students looking for a fun read - maybe someone who feels they have outgrown the David Walliams books. While the main character is 15, there is nothing in the book that is inappropriate or off putting middle grade readers.

288 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Daniel Katz, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Daniel Katz


How to Rob a Bank4/5

How to Rob a Bank

Tom Mitchell

Review

Poor Dylan burns down the house of the girl he is trying to impress. The Nepalese scented candle turns out to not be the best gift after all.

Inspired by his film-loving Dad's showing of Dog Day Afternoon, Dylan believes he can solve his (and his Emma Stone look-alike would be girlfriends) problems by robbing a bank. Thus ensues a very unfortunate incident with a cat, a failed post office robbery, a massively unwanted Saturday job and you have a very enjoyable quirky read.

This is very relatable crime-comedy fun. There are some more risque jokes, so I wouldn't recommend for primary aged students, but for secondary schoolers, I would have no problems recommending this for those looking to move on after David Walliams books. Especially for more reluctant boys.

288 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Jenni Prestwood, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Jenni Prestwood


How to Rob a Bank5/5

How to Rob a Bank

Tom Mitchell

Review

A fabulous debut novel by Tom Mitchell. Dylan is a 15 year old boy on his school summer holidays. However, when he accidentally burns down the house of a girl he has a crush on, he is resorted to only one thing; plan how to rob a bank and gift her the money she needs to buy a new house. But things don't always go quite to plan for Dylan.

Downloading an illegal hack code to withdraw money from a cash machine requires gaining access to the inside of a cash machine and the only way to do this is to get a job in the bank. With all this finally achieved Dylan sits back and waits for the money. That is when Dylan realises he has put the wrong USB in the cash machine and it is in fact his History Coursework installed in the cash machine. There is only one thing for it; plan how to really rob a bank.

With delightful plot twists and true to life characters, there is so much to love about this novel. Dylan is a typical awkward teenager and his life, family and friendships are relatable to a young person. My personal favourite element of this novel were the side plots - the spearing of next door's cat, the dumping of the cat at the tip and the honest and sweet representation of Dylan's crush; I was routing for this young romance right from the very beginning.

I read this with my Year 8 class, they absolutely loved the book as not only was it lively and engaging, the plot delighted them with all the humorous events that happen to Dylan. The age rating would be suitable from about 12/13+.

Congratulations Tom Mitchell on a fantastic debut novel.

Reviewed by: Joanna Hewish - Teacher