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Young Adult Fiction Law & Crime

Bike Thief

by (author) Rita Feutl

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2014
Law & Crime, Values & Virtues, Orphans & Foster Homes
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price
    $16.95 USD
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 12 to 18


Nick just wants to replace the TV his sister accidentally broke before their foster parents find out.

To repay the debt, the sixteen-year-old has to steal bikes, break them down and rebuild them to sell. But the debt and the violence keep growing. Even Nick’s own beloved fixed-gear bike—the fixie he built with his dad—is up for grabs. Should Nick recruit younger “runts” to do his dirty work? Should he find a way to give back the bike of the cute girl at the diner now that he sort of likes her? And how can Nick protect his little sister from the creepy guy with the shades?

This short novel is a high-interest, low-reading level book for teen readers who are building reading skills, want a quick read or say they don’t like to read!

About the author

Rita Feutl's first words were in German and Hungarian, the languages of her parents who immigrated to Canada. She didn't learn English until she started school in Toronto. When she discovered that she could write those words down and tell stories with them, she was hooked. She became a journalist first, and her stories in national newspapers and magazines have covered everything from art and politics to how to say hello to an elephant. She has a BA in political science from the University of Toronto, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario and a post-graduate diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Alberta.
When Rita's not traveling to the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt or the palaces of Europe, she lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with her family. She is a writer and editor, and has given numerous school readings and writing workshops. Because her family has had four bikes stolen—one of them twice!—Rita has written Bike Thief, about a teen who must steal bikes to pay off a debt. Together with co-author Debby Waldman, Rita has also adapted a central-European folktale to create Room Enough Daisy, about a little girl who wants a bigger room for all the birthday presents she's expecting. Rita's historical novel, Rescue at Fort Edmonton, tells the tale of a kid who time-travels into Edmonton's past to stop a disaster. Rita adores big dogs, good chocolate and everything about soccer. For more information, please visit

Rita Feutl's profile page


  • Commended, YALSA Quick Picks selection
  • Commended, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Quick Picks
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books

Editorial Reviews

"With a slim size that’s perfect for struggling and reluctant readers, this is a suspenseful tale with a surprising twist and satisfying conclusion."


"A highly engaging read [that] takes readers on a fast-paced journey through the criminal underworld of bike thieves. The plot, itself, is very believable as it shows the realities of human error and how one mistake has the potential to snowball into catastrophe...Feutl has created characters with which the reader can sympathize."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Will serve not only the hi-lo crowd but any YA reader looking for a lightning-paced super-quick pick."

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"A realistic story that shows how easy it is for teenagers to fall into difficult situations."

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