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Children's LiteratureOriginally published in 1972 and now offered as a "First Harcourt Young Classics Reprint," the sequel to The Alley tells the adventures of two boys who, following up on a prophecy of a former neighborhood resident, find the underground passageway beneath the alley behind their houses. The narrator Nicky, otherwise known by his secret name of Copin, and Timmy, who uses the moniker Tornid, are ages 11 and 8, respectively. Together they personify boys out of school due to a teacher strike and in search of a mission. Irreverent and still of an age where they consider girls to be "contamination," the boys also show spunk and daring as they face the perils of the dark tunnel where they ultimately meet the person who had predicted the tunnel to begin with—Hugsy Goode. Told in the language of the 1960s, which may prove challenging to some readers, the tale nevertheless remains universally appealing. Two of Eleanor Estes' (1906-1988) books about the Moffat family, The Middle Moffat and Rufus M, and her novel The Hundred Dresses won Newbery Honors awards, and she won the Newbery Medal for Ginger Pye in 1952. 2003 (orig 1972), Odyssey/Harcourt, Ages 8 to 12.
— Valerie O. Patterson