The imaginative mind of author Jame22546584s Riley, best selling author of Half Upon a Time trilogy, was in high gear when he created the middle grade novel, Story Thieves. As the title suggests, the story blends fictional characters (both magical and machine) with real world characters. Bethany is half fictional with the special ability of jumping in and out of books. This talent is completely harmless as long as she only observes and doesn’t disturb the story. Bethany has a reason for climbing into books. She’s looking for her fictional father who came to live in the real world but then disappeared into a book and hasn’t been seen since.

Bethany’s schoolmate Owen discover’s her secret and wants to add adventure into his boring life. Being a huge fan of the Keil Gnomenfoot series, he tells Bethany he will keep her secret if she takes him into the latest book. Owen can’t resist getting involved in the story and becomes Keil, a rogue hero who resembles a young Han Solo. Not only does Owen mess up the story, he releases the head wizard Magister into the real world where the head magician is not happy to find out that writers control the destiny of fictional characters. 

Owen teams up with Charm a sassy half magical, half robot girl who can outsmart and outfight just about anyone. Bethany gets stuck with the fictional Heil which makes for a hilarious duo. The series of events that unfold go from bad to worse. Bethany and Owen must find a way to make things right again. The story is packed with action and witty humor that will keep middle grade readers interested until the end.