Smith: The Story of a Pickpocket

( 1 )

Overview

Seconds after twelve-year-old Smith picks the bulging pocket of an old gentleman, he hears footsteps in Curtis Alley, his planned path of escape. Two men in brown appear, and from the doorway where he is hiding, Smith witnesses the murder and violent search of his victim. Terrified, he flees the scene of the crime.
 
A quarter of a mile off Smith stops. What has he ...

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Smith: The Story of a Pickpocket

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Overview

Seconds after twelve-year-old Smith picks the bulging pocket of an old gentleman, he hears footsteps in Curtis Alley, his planned path of escape. Two men in brown appear, and from the doorway where he is hiding, Smith witnesses the murder and violent search of his victim. Terrified, he flees the scene of the crime.
 
A quarter of a mile off Smith stops. What has he stolen that is worth the life of a man? He stares at his loot bitterly. It is a document—and Smith cannot read.
 
Leon Garfield’s crisp, exuberant writing brings new excitement and high adventure to the genre of historical fiction. The Who’s Who of Children’s Literature has called Smith “a graphic, breathtaking picture of England—and particularly London—with a handful of memorable, larger-than-life characters.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the Phoenix Award
A Boston GlobeHorn Book Award Honor Book

“Leon Garfield is unmatched for sheer exciting storytelling. The reader simply can’t stop reading him.” —Lloyd Alexander
 
“It is a fine thing that Leon Garfield’s rip-roaring and funny tales should be brought back into circulation for a new generation of readers.” —Joan Aiken
 
Smith is one of the most interesting children’s books of the year—not only as a period tale, though in this respect it is superb, but also for the strong yet tender comment on the way people feel, now, then, and always.” —The Christian Science Monitor
 
“I like to think that maybe a child of today—who was like the child I was yesterday (and millions of others like me)—will remember the first reading of Smith years from now and say: Yes, that’s the book that opened windows and doors for me, the pivotal book of my childhood.” —Robert Cormier
 
“Vivid characters, imagery, and atmosphere combine to make this a distinguished book for casual reading or for study.” —English Journal

Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-20
"Smith. 'unted, 'ounded, 'omeless, and part gin-sodder. Smith. Twelve year old. That's me. Very small, but wiry, as they say. Dark 'aired and lately residing in the Red Lion Tavern off Saffron 'ill. Smith." This to the blind man he has just knocked down...after witnessing a murder, after retrieving a document he can't decipher, after despairing of finding someone who will teach him to read. The succeeding entanglement takes Smith from genteel comfort to the horrors of Newgate in the company of pharisees and publicans, honest rogues and the devil's cajoling disciple. A disquieting story, told with Mr. Garfield's customary elan; a story that is both somber and sardonic, leavened with raucous good spirits and simple compassion. More Hogarth than Cruikshank, this lacks the gusto of Devil in the Fog (1966) but readers who respond to the author will follow him here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590176757
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 698,816
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Leon Garfield (1921–1996) was a celebrated British author of more than fifty books for children and young adults, including Jack Holborn, Smith, The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris, The Prisoners of September, and The Night of the Comet: A Comedy of Courtship Featuring Bostock and Harris. After serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War II, Garfield spent nearly twenty years as a biochemical technician at a London hospital, writing in his free time.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    MY THOUGHTS: SMITH: THE STORY OF A PICKPOCKET by Leon Garfield i

    MY THOUGHTS:
    SMITH: THE STORY OF A PICKPOCKET by Leon Garfield is an exciting Children’s book, The New York Review Children’s Collection. Series: A Carnegie Medal Honor Book. Age Level: 9-12. Grade Level: 4-7. With vivid descriptions, charming characters and an engaging story “Smith: The Story of a Pickpocket” makes for an exciting tale of high adventure,and murder. What a great read for a new generation of young readers. Although, readers,both young and old will enjoy this story from the first page to the last. While Mr. Garfield may be long gone his story lives on forever. A treasure for any readers library. What a joy to read!! Received for an honest review from the publisher.
    RATING: 4.5
    HEAT RATING: NONE(CHILDREN’S)
    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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