Cato Hopkins is the youngest member of Mother Hopkins's 'family' - a group of skilled fraudsters and pickpockets. There's Addy, who can become a very convincing boy when she needs to; the beautiful Bella, who can charm any rich young man out of his fortune; Sam, an escaped slave and Cato himself, a young boy, who Mother Hopkins has taught everything she knows.
But old age is slowing Mother Hopkins down, and she wants to carry out one last con, a con to outdo all the cons that have gone before. And so the gang set about bringing ruin upon Captain Walker, a proud and cruel slave captain, who deserves to be taught a lesson or two...
The list was put together by Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books, and selected by experts in the field of children's literature: Julia Eccleshare (the Guardian children's books editor), Jake Hope (from Youth Libraries Group), Library specialist Sarah Smith and Katherine Woodfine from the Book Trust. Read the full list here.
A Nest of Vipers is published by Corgi Children's Books.