The Thief and the Beanstalk


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The Books of Umber:
-Happenstance Found
-Dragon Games

-The End of Time

The Thief and
the Beanstalk

The Brave

The Eye of 
the Warlock

The Mirror's Tale

The Riddle
of the Gnome

And more:

Author's sketchpad

About the

and answers

Just for teachers


Contact the author at


       Where to buy.

Long ago, a boy climbed a beanstalk and came down a thief. Now a young thief will climb to that strange land in the clouds... and what will he be when he comes down?

First-time novelist Catanese smartly plumbs this well-known story for all its moral ambiguity…this is the rare fairy tale variant that will appeal to boys--not a princess nor romance in sight--and the plot brims with perilous battles, narrow escapes and truly icky elements (e.g., the nightmarish creatures with spider bodies and human heads that trail Nick through the giant's castle). Fans of Tim Burton's movies will enjoy this, and will likely welcome Catanese's second adventure, The Brave Apprentice.” - Publishers Weekly

“Catanese's first Further Tale is a rollicking adventure meshed with complex characters and an intriguing spin on a familiar tale...Vivid descriptions, especially of the giants and the enormity of the castle, bring the setting to life...Important themes of good and evil, sacrifice and personal worth, and guilt are addressed appropriately with a sensitive hand, shedding new light on a well-known story. -VOYA

“A fast-paced, accessible entry in the burgeoning genre of novels based on fairy tales…clearly written and exciting. It will appeal to reluctant readers with its highly visual descriptions and will also make a successful read-aloud.” -School Library Journal

“This book was a fun read but not for the faint of heart. The writing uses vivid imagery providing deliciously gruesome people and creatures alike, one of my favorites being the baby head spiders…the adventure was exciting and worth the ride." - Midwest Book Review

"Full of ugly rat-faced giants, terrifying spiders with a thirst for human blood, and thieves that would as soon cut your head off as talk to you, this is a story to keep you on your toes. But, it's also a story with a great heart... I very much enjoyed Catanese's story – it stays true to the original, but also forges new ground."  - YA Books Central

"Lots of action and suspense as well as thoughts about forgiveness make this a book to be enjoyed by fantasy and fairy tale fans alike."
- SurLaLune Fairy Tale Pages


About the story:

Everyone knows the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Everyone also knows that Jack's adventure made him a very rich man. But what they don't know is what happened a long time after Jack...

That’s where Nick comes in. Orphaned and desperate, Nick joins a nasty band of thieves in hopes of a warm meal and a little protection. In exchange Nick must help them break into the lavish white castle rumored to belong to an old man named Jack. Legend says it’s full of riches from Jack’s quest up a magical beanstalk decades ago.

When Nick’s dangerous mission leads him straight to Jack, he sees a chance to climb the famed beanstalk for himself. But what Nick doesn’t know is that things are different from when Jack made his climb. There are new foes at the top now. Ones with cruel weapons and foul plans – plans that could destroy the world as Nick knows it. Will Nick come down the beanstalk a hero? Will he come down at all?

Click here to read an excerpt from 
The Thief and the Beanstalk!

That's the new cover design above. Here's the original cover: