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Swindlers And Swindling: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about swindlers and swindling?

As you can see, this list of kids books about swindlers and swindling is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about swindlers and swindling, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

The Great Brain Is Back
Written by John D. Fitzgerald & illustrated by Mercer Mayer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This classic trickster is back again, and he’s up to no good in his eighth and final book of the series. Great mix of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Terrible Two series, and is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.

Tom D. Fitzgerald—better known as The Great Brain—has turned thirteen, and pretty Polly Reagan has put a spell on him. But when it comes to swindling his younger brother J. D., and all the other kids in Adenville, Tom hasn’t changed a bit. The Great Brain is back one more time, and he’s at the top of his form with his money-making schemes and getting into big trouble. As always, life is more exciting when this brain’s around!

Puss in Boots
Written & illustrated by Gwen Keraval
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Thanks to the help of a fast-talking, resourceful kitty, a young man goes from poor to princely. When a miller dies, he has only a cat to leave to his youngest son. But with a pair of boots and his sharp wits, the wily feline tricks the king and changes his master’s status . . . forever. Gwen Keraval’s engaging, humorous illustrations bring to life the cat’s ingenious plans.

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower
Written & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

In the early 1900s, Robert Miller, a.k.a. “Count Victor Lustig,” moved to Paris hoping to be an artist. A con artist, that is. He used his ingenious scams on unsuspecting marks all over the world, from the Czech Republic, to Atlantic ocean liners, and across America. Tricky Vic pulled off his most daring con in 1925, when he managed to “sell” the Eiffel Tower to one of the city’s most successful scrap metal dealers! Six weeks later, he tried to sell the Eiffel Tower all over again. Vic was never caught. For that particular scam, anyway. . . .

Kids will love to read about Vic’s thrilling life, and teachers will love the informational sidebars and back matter. Award-winner Greg Pizzoli’s humorous and vibrant graphic style of illustration mark a bold approach to picture book biography.

How to Scare a Stegosaurus
Written & illustrated by Will Dare
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Josh is dismayed to discover that crooked businessman Malachi Wilks is building a railroad straight through Trihorn settlement! With the sheriff out of town, it seems like nothing can stand in the way of Wilks’ railroad and his pack of stegosaurus workers.With his friends, Josh organizes the most epic, dino-filled showdown at high noon that the Lost Plains ever saw!

Fakers
Written by H.P. Wood & illustrated by David Clark
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

From the Trojan horse to fake news, scams have run rampant throughout history and across the globe. Some con artists do it for fun, others for profit. . . and every once in a while, a faker saves the world. In this era of daily online hoaxes, it’s easy to be caught off-guard. Fakers arms kids with information, introducing them to the funniest, weirdest, and most influential cons and scams in human history. Profiles of con artists will get readers thinking about motivation and consequence, and practical tips will help protect them from falsehoods. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is—except in the case of this book!

  • Nancy Drew 14: the Whispering Statue - Once again, Nancy faces two puzzling mysteries at once! The first concerns a valuable collection of rare books that Mrs. Horace Merriam commissioned anart dealer to sell–has he swindled her instead? The second mystery revolves around the baffling theft of a beautiful marble statue. To solve both mysteries, the famous young detective disguises herself and assumes a false identity. Despite these precautions, danger stalks Nancy’s every move. An attempted kidnapping, a nearly disastrous sailboat collision, and an encounter with a dishonest sculptor are just a few of the exciting challenges that Nancy is faced with as she gathers evidence against a clever ring of art thieves.

  • Nancy Drew 29: Mystery at the Ski Jump - When Nancy learns that the Drews’ housekeeper has been duped by an elegantly dressed woman into buying a stolen fur piece, the young detective starts a search for the clever swindler. To Nancy’s astonishment, she discovers that the woman is using the name Nancy Drew. The dishonest acts of the impostor point the finger of suspicion at Nancy herself and result in her being questioned by the police. Join Nancy in this thrilling mystery as she solves the mystery and clears her name.

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