A Thief in the Village Summary
by James Berry

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A Thief in the Village Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

"A Thief in the Village" is a story of moral instruction. It reminds readers that prejudice is not evidence and that unusual people are not automatically worthy of abuse. This "teaching tale" takes place in rural Jamaica where Nenna and Man-Man help their parents raise produce for sale in a marketplace two or three days away. The children guard the family coconuts from being stolen while their parents are away at market, and they succeed in chasing a thief away. Suspicion quickly falls on Big-Walk, who has long been suspected of stealing from his neighbors. As the plot unfolds and the thief is revealed, the story provides a picture of the people and their lives in a small Jamaican village.