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Monday, August 20, 2018

Gangster School by Kate Wiseman - Book Review and Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Milly and Charlie are new pupils of Blaggard’s, a school for the children of gangsters, so they can be trained to become as infamous as their parents. While Charlie is a brilliant hacker and Milly is a strategic mastermind they aren’t the lying, stealing and cheating type. How will they survive their time at Blaggard’s if they don’t truly fit in and can they help each other through their difficult school days?

Milly and Charlie are excellent spies and that is how they find out about the horrific plans Pecunia Badpenny, one of the school’s criminal enforcements, has made. Will they be able to stop Pecunia and her evil mechanical sidekick before it’s too late? Will they be strong enough to beat this cunning woman? Can Milly and Charlie secure their place at the school they don’t want to leave while chasing a criminal instead of being one?

Gangster School is a fun and creative story. I loved the idea of a school for future criminals. Milly and Charlie are surrounded with students who do fancy a life in crime. They are incredibly smart and skillfully deflect attention, but they are good hearted and kind. They’re helpful and way too sweet for Blaggard’s and have to keep coming up with clever ways to hide this, which makes fabulous reading. I found the way Kate Wiseman deals with her two main characters' issues at their new school absolutely hilarious. Milly and Charlie are amazing and their friendship is a true joy to read about. 

Kate Wiseman has written a terrific action-packed story filled with adventure and plenty of surprising twists and turns. I liked her sense of humor and greatly enjoyed each new original direction she manages to come up with. Blaggard’s is a delightful unusual setting that really worked for me. Kate Wiseman makes the school come to life in a wonderful way with vivid descriptions and plenty of witty details. She's given the story the exact right amount of depth and is always in control of the chaos that keeps following Milly and Charlie. Gangster School is a gorgeous entertaining story that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.


Gangster School is meant for children around ten years of age, but can definitely be read by any reader who loves a fun and original story filled with adventures and friendship.

About Kate Wiseman

Kate is a children’s writer. She lives in Saffron Walden with her husband, her son (when he’s home from university) and three neurotic cats. One of her cats, Maisie, is actually a ghost cat now, but Kate still talks to her every day.

Kate was a late developer. Before going to university at the age of 38 to study creative writing, she did lots of different jobs ranging from working in a library to promotions work. When she grew up a bit she worked in schools, doing everything from mopping up sick to judging poetry competitions. She graduated from uni with a First and annoyed her family and friends by bringing it into every conversation for a Very Long Time. She also has a Masters in English Literature, which she took while she was trying to gather the courage to write children’s fiction.

Her claims to fame include winning a prize in a Halloween competition that she hadn’t even entered – “I was just standing there, looking at the costumes,” having criminal ancestors who were hanged and fainting onto a famous film director in a London theatre.

When she’s not fainting on the famous or scaring people with her witchy looks, she writes about Blaggard’s School for Tomorrow’s Tyrants, the world’s best school for trainee criminals. The idea for Blaggard’s originated with her son, who used to say that when he grew up he wanted to be an evil genius. He’s now studying history, so perhaps the world is safe. Or is he just biding his time…..?


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of Gangster School and signed book plate from Kate Wiseman.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. This book sounds great! Very different from most children's books.

  2. A great book by the sounds of it xx

  3. Gangster School sounds like a brilliantly entertaining adventure full of thrills, danger and downright dastardly behaviour.

  4. Sounds like an interesting book, thanks for the review!

  5. It sounds like an interesting and fun book! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Entertaining and daughter would love this book!

  7. The book sounds very intriguing, thank you for the reveal!

  8. This sounds like such a fun read.

  9. A very interesting idea for a novel, my granddaughter would just love this.

  10. This sounds like a book the girls would love

  11. This would be fab for some of my students (after I read it first!)

  12. This one would be fun for my niece & I to read together.

  13. Is this inspired by "Deadly Class"? A graphic novel by Rick Remender. Very similar and was released in 2014.

  14. This one would be wonderful for me and my daughter.

  15. Thanks for the great prize and competition. Good luck everyone!

  16. Sounds very fun to read. I love the the cover too. I like it "evil genius". All the best, thank you for the review and giveaway.

  17. Never mind the 10-year olds out there, I'd love to read this!