Sparrows in the Scullery

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Overview

Wealthy, orphaned Colley is kidnapped, placed in the awful Broggin Home for Boys, and put to work in a dangerous glass factory. Someone wants Colley dead, but that person has not counted on five scrappy boys, fellow inmates, who are determined that Colley will live.

Despite horrible conditions at the boys' home where kidnappers left him, eleven-year-old Colley, an orphan, finds a reason and a way to live, along with comradeship.

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Overview

Wealthy, orphaned Colley is kidnapped, placed in the awful Broggin Home for Boys, and put to work in a dangerous glass factory. Someone wants Colley dead, but that person has not counted on five scrappy boys, fellow inmates, who are determined that Colley will live.

Despite horrible conditions at the boys' home where kidnappers left him, eleven-year-old Colley, an orphan, finds a reason and a way to live, along with comradeship.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Melinda Medley Sprinkle
Mr. and Mrs. Trevelyan are mysteriously killed in a carriage accident, and their eleven year-old son, Colley, is left orphaned with only his nursemaid and the house cook to tend to his needs. Terror strikes when two men take him from his home to the Broggin Home for Boys. Why was this happening to him, and who was behind it all? Many questions were left unanswered as Colley was put to work in a glass factory, working long, difficult hours with other boys his own age. Overcoming his frail, defenseless manner, Colley finds the courage and strength within himself to fight for his freedom and along the way discovers the true meaning of life-long friendship. Set in the Victorian era, this Junior Library Guild Selection is a chilling tale full of suspense and mystery.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6--Set in 19th-century United States, this mystery immediately hooks readers. When 10-year-old Colley is kidnapped and brought to the Broggin Home for Boys, he finds himself in the middle of a nightmare. The two proprietors, Obadiah and Quintilla Crawler, make life miserable for all of the Broggin boys. Harsh words, backbreaking work, and inedible food are the norm. Eventually, Colley befriends his formerly hostile roommate and tries to discover why he was brought to the home. Reminiscent of Joan Aiken's The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Yearling, 1987), the book is populated with characters who are either very good or horrible. Wallace writes well, balancing the educated dialogue of Colley with the course language of the street boys. A secret room, a pet rat, and near mishaps add to the intrigue. Although the ending is a little sweet, Wallace ties together most loose ends and includes some unsolved problems. Readers will gobble up this satisfying fare.--Mary M. Hopf, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Wallace (Cousins in the Castle, 1996, etc.) transports readers back to 19th-century England, to the time when it was not uncommon for orphans to be sold to seemingly charitable homes where they were clothed and fed, but where they were often required to toil long hours in factories.

That's the horror that befalls once privileged, recently orphaned Colley Trevelyan, 11. The action takes off at a horse's gallop: After his parents are killed in a carriage accident, Colley is kidnapped and sold to the Broggin Home for Boys. There he is stripped of his name and put to work in a glass factory. It's a far cry from the servants and estate to which he's accustomed, but Colley becomes close to the other boys, and learns about friendship, teamwork, and survival. Wallace is deliberately Dickensian in her portrait of the home and the boys, yet the tale is full of hope: The boys find an unexpected savior, and readers will be borne along by the suspense to an exhilarating conclusion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606159432
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2014

    Stupid book

    Stupid book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    Phenomenal

    This book was touching and incredible, and I really enjoyed it when I read it in the 5th or 6th grade. I am a lover, scholar, and veteran of whimsical children's literature and this story has all the panache and pizzazz of Funke, Levine, or Rowling!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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