The Great (Food) Bank Heist is the wonderful story of Nelson, his sister Ashley and their mum, who come up with creative ways to stretch the food that they have leftover in their house to make it last as long as possible. Despite Nelson's mum working long hours as a nurse, the trio often struggle towards the end of the month, particularly since the landlord has put the rent up.
That's why the bank plays an important part in their lives. But this is not just any bank. It's the food bank, staffed by fantastic people who can help the family to get what they need before Mum's next paycheck. These people are also an important source of support for many of the children in the breakfast club at Nelson's school.
But there is trouble brewing, as items start disappearing off the food bank shelves. Nelson and his friends, Harriet and Krish, decide that they have to take the situation into their own hands to stop the robbers once and for all. And they know that in order to do so, they need to act like the real detectives that they've seen on TV.
The decision comes just as Nelson's mum has had to pawn her precious ring in order to pay for food:
As I sat with my head in the cupboard, I made a promise that when I grew up, I would get a job that paid me millions of pounds and I would go and buy back Nan's ring just as quick as I could!
But for now, I wouldn't let Mum take any more of her things to the pawn shop. Nan's ring had to be the last pawn - ever! So as I waited for Mum to leave the fridge, I decided that Krish was right. It was time to make a stake-out plan and catch the food bank thieves.
This is a fast-paced, gripping, funny and deeply moving story from Onjali Rauf, which will be loved by both middle-graders and older readers. A percentage of all royalties earned from the sale of this book will be going towards Trussell Trust Food Banks and the Greggs Foundation.