Street Child by Berlie Doherty | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Street Child

Street Child

4.7 3
by Berlie Doherty
     
 

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Unforgettable tale of an orphan in Victorian London, based on the boy whose plight inspired Dr Barnardo to found his famous children’s homes.When his mother dies, Jim Jarvis is left all alone in London. He is sent to the workhouse but quickly escapes, choosing a hard life on the streets of the city over the confines of the workhouse walls.Struggling to survive,

Overview

Unforgettable tale of an orphan in Victorian London, based on the boy whose plight inspired Dr Barnardo to found his famous children’s homes.When his mother dies, Jim Jarvis is left all alone in London. He is sent to the workhouse but quickly escapes, choosing a hard life on the streets of the city over the confines of the workhouse walls.Struggling to survive, Jim finally finds some friends… only to be snatched away and made to work for the remorselessly cruel Grimy Nick, constantly guarded by his vicious dog, Snipe.Will Jim ever manage to be free?

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Homelessness is the central topic of this grim and gripping novel set in Victorian England. Doherty (Dear Nobody) builds her plot around the few facts known about Jim Jarvis, the London urchin who is said to have inspired Thomas Barnardo to establish his homes for destitute boys, the first such asylums in Britain. No longer able to afford the rent on the squalid tenement room they call home, Jim, his sisters and his sick, widowed mother are turned out into the inhospitable streets of London. The next way-station on Jim's downward spiral is the workhouse. There Jim's mother's dies, and Jim seems destined to become like the other inmates, broken-spirited paupers who answer to pious-speaking sadists. After much hardship, Jim escapes, and spends what prove to be his happiest days on the street. His idyll ends when, for a single coin, he is sold into servitude to the cruel drunkard Grimy Nick, captain of a small coal ferry. Until his lucky encounter with Barnardo, every adult Jim meets is either kindly but powerless or greedy and heartless; his only friends are other street children, and even they are not entirely to be trusted. With its sootily authentic atmosphere and its earnest reformist message, this tale calls to mind the ambience of Charles Dickens's novels. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 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
Hazel Rochman
Drawing on the "dark wet shelterless midnight streets" that inspired "Oliver Twist", Doherty tells a stark story of a poor child in Victorian London who escapes from the brutal workhouse and tries to find a home. Alone, hungry, and freezing, Jim Jarvis barely survives in the noisy, crowded slums, stealing scraps of food, sleeping on rooftops, and bonding when he can with other orphan boys he thinks of as his "bruvvers." He's kidnapped and forced to slave for a harsh master shoveling coal on a river barge until he runs away again and finally finds shelter in a home for destitute children. Doherty says in a note that Jim Jarvis was a real boy whose story inspired the famous Dr. Barnardo to set up refuges for runaway children. She has imagined Jim's story with bleak realism. Readers will be drawn as much by the social conditions as by Jim's picaresque adventures. They might read this with contemporary stories of runaway children, such as Virginia Hamilton's "Planet of Junior Brown" (1971) and Paula Fox's "Monkey Island" (1991), about a boy alone in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780007397631
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/14/2013
Sold by:
HarperCollins Publishers
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
146
Sales rank:
990,685
File size:
312 KB
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

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.

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Street Child 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sat around watching them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Guest More than 1 year ago
The writer really described the book well . Also made the book sound more interesting and want to read more of it. But I think that the price of the book is way to much.