The Highland Falcon Thief


The Highland Falcon Thief is about to take its final, celebrated journey. Acclaimed travel writer Nathaniel Bradshaw will record the journey that includes famous guests such as members of the Royal family, an actress, reality stars and members of the aristocracy. Hal is a reluctant guest of his Uncle Nat (Nathaniel Bradshaw), while his mother has a baby. However, it isn’t long before the drama of the journey and the idiosyncrasies of his travel companions captivate Hal. Then, there is the matter of jewellery thefts….

The Highland Falcon travels a real steam train route from London’s Kings Cross through the Scottish Highlands to circle back toward London Paddington. We learn about the mechanics, engineering and needs of steam travel, alongside sights along the route. Hal becomes entranced by and aware of a world of history and progress. We learn with him.

However, Hal is in league with a stowaway with whom he investigates the jewel burglaries. While the thief must be one of the passengers, both motive and method are difficult to work out. Hal uses his pencil to plot and investigate, while Lenny is a silent, nimble observer.

Bookwagon is delighted to welcome The Highland Falcon Thief, the first in Adventures on Trains, aboard. This is a really satisfying, interesting, confident story, a delight to enjoy from start to smoking finish.

Winner of the Books are My Bag and Younger Readers’ FCBG readers’ awards. 

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The Highland Falcon Thief

Adventures on Trains

M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman, with illustrations by Elisa Paganelli

(Pan Macmillan)

The Highland Falcon Thief appears to be hiding in plain sight! However,  Hal (Harrison) Beck and his stowaway friend detail every clue they can find. It seems as though they’re determined it’s something to do with the baron’s son. Thereafter there are secret notes discovered that seem to implicate him further, along with an accomplice!
Although Harrison is reluctant to join his rail buff, travel reporting uncle aboard the Highland Falcon’s final journey, it’s not long before his apprehensions disappear. It could be the discovery of the stowaway friend. It’s also likely that the jewellery theft aboard and the royal passengers allay Hal’s fears. For this is no ordinary journey, just as these are no ordinary travel companions! From aristocracy to movie stars,  get-rich- quick sleazy businessman to five husky dogs, there’s mayhem and attitude galore!
M.G. Leonard states that her incentive to begin Adventures on Trains was discovering an absence of chapter books about trains for children that included realistic journeys.Thereafter her research led her to collaborating with Sam Sedgman, a rail buff, friend. We’re aware of Ms Leonard’s powers of research from her Beetle Boy series which inspired a new, different wave of beetle-mania.
The Highland Falcon Thief held my interest through one, extended reading session. While I love the mystery, the inclusion of routes and rail details had me enthralled. What a fabulous addition to our Bookwagon chapter book selection! Welcome aboard!



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