A fictional account of the experiences of Jim Jarvis, a young orphan who escapes the workhouse in 1860's London and survives brutal treatment and desparate circumstances until he is taken in by Dr. Barnardo, founder of a school for the city's "ragged" children.
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Born in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, Berlie Doherty is the youngest of three children. She has been a social worker, a journalist, a teacher, and, for the past fifteen years, a writer. Berlie has twice won the prestigious Carnegie Medal, for `Grannie was a Buffer Girl' in 1987 and for `Dear Nobody' in 1992. She lives in the Derbyshire Peak District.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8-Set in Victorian England, this story of life on the streets has enough action to keep children reading. The book opens with Jim's desperately poor, fatherless family being evicted; within a day his sisters are in domestic service, his mother is dead, and Jim is on his own. After a year in the workhouse, he escapes. Eating and sleeping where and when he can, he is more or less sold to a cruel taskmaster with a coal boat, who reacts to Jim's attempt to flee by tying a rope around his neck. Ever resourceful, the boy finally gets away and returns to the London slums where he finds a friend dying from hunger. Realizing that he must do something to avoid a similar fate, he seeks out a man who runs a school for poor children and finds a home. The novel is based on a real boy, Jim Jarvis, and the teacher who saved him was Dr. Bernardo, who, inspired by the boy's plight, went on to establish homes for destitute children. Doherty has written a Dickensian tale with compassion and insight while creating a likable hero with the courage, persistence, and instinct to survive in a harsh, inhospitable world. Several of the supporting characters are also based on real people and are finely drawn. With the number of homeless children today, this story has relevance to contemporary society as it shows not only the price paid when poor people are dismissed as unimportant, but also the strength of the human spirit and the difference that one committed, caring person can make.
Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Orchard Books (NY), 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110531068641
Book Description Orchard Books (NY). Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0531068641 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1961733