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1 Burnside Children's Middle Readers- General

City of Orphans

by and

City of Orphans Cover

ISBN13: 9781416971023
ISBN10: 1416971025
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: None
All Product Details

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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The streets of 1893 New York are full of life: crowded, filthy, dangerous. If you are a newsboy like thirteen-year-old Maks Geless, you need to watch out for Bruno, leader of the Plug Ugly Gang whose shadowy, sinister boss is plotting to take control of all the newsies on the lower East Side. With Bruno’s boys in fierce pursuit, Maks discovers Willa, a strange girl who lives alone in an alley. It is she, stick in hand, who fights off the Plug Uglies — but further dangers await. Maks must find a way to free his sister Emma from The Tombs, the city jail where she has been imprisoned for stealing a watch at the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel. Maks, believing her innocent, has only four days to prove it. Fortunately, there is Bartleby Donck, the eccentric lawyer (among other employments) to guide Maks and Willa in the art of detection. Against a backdrop alive with the sights and sounds of tenement New York, Maks, as boy detective, must confront a teeming world of wealth and crime, while struggling against powerful forces threatening new immigrants and the fabric of family love. 

Review:

"Thirteen-year-old Maks Geless, the oldest son of Danish immigrants, makes eight cents a day hawking The World on Manhattan street corners in 1893. Newbery Medalist Avi tells his story in a vibrant, unsophisticated, present-tense voice (a typical chapter begins, “Okay, now it’s the next day — Tuesday”), and it’s a hard life. Maks’s sister Agnes has TB, the shoe factory where Agnes and Mr. Geless work is suspending operations, and the grocer and landlord want their accounts paid. Then Maks’s oldest sister, Emma, is accused of stealing from a guest at the Waldorf Hotel, where she is a maid. Amid this strife, the good-hearted Gelesses take in Willa, a homeless girl who saved Maks from a street gang. Maks and Willa must prove Emma’s innocence, with the help of an odd, possibly dying detective (he’s coughing up blood, too). The contrasts among Maks’s family’s squalid tenement existence; Emma’s incarceration in the Tombs, the city’s infamous prison; and the splendor of the Waldorf bring a stark portrait of 19th-century society to a terrifically exciting read, with Ruth’s fine pencil portraits adding to the overall appeal. Ages 10-14. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Narrating in the present tense, Avi attempts a colloquial, first-person “Lemme tell you how it was” style not normally found in books for middle graders. The opening, which describes Maks so vividly you feel that he’s standing right in front of you, strikes the kind of friendly note bound to draw in the average reader. 'Now, this Maks, he’s regular height for a 13-year-old, ruddy-faced, shaggy brown hair, always wearing a cloth cap, canvas jacket and trousers, plus decent boots.' In short, he’s a 'newsie'…honest-to-goodness historical mysteries are hard to find, and Avi doles out his clues carefully, allowing children the chance to feel smart if they put two and two together." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Like the intricate inner workings of a fine gold watch from a bygone era, Avi crafts a not-to-be-missed mystery/thriller yarn featuring a colorful cast of mugs and swells and set amidst the opulence and the poverty of nineteenth century Manhattan." Richie's Picks

Synopsis:

As a newsboy on the streets of 1893 New York, thirteen-year-old Maks Geless has a hard enough time evading the grasp of the Plug Ugly gang, whose sinister boss wants to control all the newsies on the Lower East Side. But now Maks is burdened with a new challenge: proving the innocence of his sister, Emma — in just four days. While Emma’s confined to the city jail for allegedly stealing a watch at the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel, Maks teams up with Willa, a strange but loyal girl who lives alone in an alley, and Bartleby Donck, an eccentric lawyer (among other employments), to do some urgently needed detective work.

The vividly described sights and sounds of tenement New York — and Avi’s trademark plot twists and turns — thrust the reader alongside Maks as he confronts a world teeming with wealth and crime and struggles against powerful forces that threaten new immigrants and the fabric of family love.

About the Author

Avi is the author of more than fifty books for children and young adults, including the 2003 Newbery medal winner Crispin: The Cross of Lead. He has won two Newbery Honors and many other awards for his fiction. He lives with his family in Denver, Colorado. Visit him at Avi-Writer.com.

Greg Ruth has published work forThe New York Times, DC Comics, Paradox Press, Fantagraphics Books, and more.  His books for children include, Our Enduring Spirit by President Barack Obama, A Pirate's Guide to First Grade by James Preller and others. Greg lives and works in Western Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

candacevasquez, February 24, 2012 (view all comments by candacevasquez)
great book for your child to read or you to read to you child. This historical novel late you see New York City in the late 1800s through the eyes of 13 year old Maks Geless a "newsie". Through the sights, scents, and language , the reader is transported back in time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Sara Gundell, September 21, 2011 (view all comments by Sara Gundell)
If Newsies had a YA/MG literary cousin, then City of Orphans by Avi would be it �" an historical fiction that takes you to the gritty streets of New York City circa 1893 through the eyes of a young Newsie.

I’ll confess, I’ve long loved the movie-musical Newsies, so that aspect of City of Orphans had me hooked before I even started reading. But Avi’s unique writing style draws you into the story and puts you in Maks’s shoes as he navigates the children’s New York City of 1893 �" a notably different New York City than the one navigated by adults at that time. The narrative voice is perfectly suited to the time period of the story, and draws you into the text and the world within.

Avi does a brilliant job of weaving in facts and historical tid-bits into the texture of his narrative, without making it obvious. The result is not only an informative as well as entertaining read �" but a book that’s accessible for both younger readers and older readers alike! (City of Orphans would certainly be appropriate for younger middle grade readers, as well as teens and adults.)

Likewise, the interwoven plotlines and series of mysterious unfold organically �" giving the reader a chance to play detective along with Maks and Willa, while still leaving room for some twists and surprises.

City of Orphans is a rollicking adventure through Newsie-era New York City, that is engaging, entertaining and compelling from start to finish.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781416971023
Author:
Avi and Greg Ruth
Publisher:
Atheneum Books
Illustrator:
Ruth, Greg
Author:
Avi
Subject:
Historical - United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-U.S. 20th Century
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Children/juvenile
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
from 10 up to 14

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 19th Century
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 20th Century
Children's » Middle Readers » General

City of Orphans Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Atheneum Books - English 9781416971023 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Thirteen-year-old Maks Geless, the oldest son of Danish immigrants, makes eight cents a day hawking The World on Manhattan street corners in 1893. Newbery Medalist Avi tells his story in a vibrant, unsophisticated, present-tense voice (a typical chapter begins, “Okay, now it’s the next day — Tuesday”), and it’s a hard life. Maks’s sister Agnes has TB, the shoe factory where Agnes and Mr. Geless work is suspending operations, and the grocer and landlord want their accounts paid. Then Maks’s oldest sister, Emma, is accused of stealing from a guest at the Waldorf Hotel, where she is a maid. Amid this strife, the good-hearted Gelesses take in Willa, a homeless girl who saved Maks from a street gang. Maks and Willa must prove Emma’s innocence, with the help of an odd, possibly dying detective (he’s coughing up blood, too). The contrasts among Maks’s family’s squalid tenement existence; Emma’s incarceration in the Tombs, the city’s infamous prison; and the splendor of the Waldorf bring a stark portrait of 19th-century society to a terrifically exciting read, with Ruth’s fine pencil portraits adding to the overall appeal. Ages 10-14. (Sept.)"
"Review" by , "Narrating in the present tense, Avi attempts a colloquial, first-person “Lemme tell you how it was” style not normally found in books for middle graders. The opening, which describes Maks so vividly you feel that he’s standing right in front of you, strikes the kind of friendly note bound to draw in the average reader. 'Now, this Maks, he’s regular height for a 13-year-old, ruddy-faced, shaggy brown hair, always wearing a cloth cap, canvas jacket and trousers, plus decent boots.' In short, he’s a 'newsie'…honest-to-goodness historical mysteries are hard to find, and Avi doles out his clues carefully, allowing children the chance to feel smart if they put two and two together."
"Review" by , "Like the intricate inner workings of a fine gold watch from a bygone era, Avi crafts a not-to-be-missed mystery/thriller yarn featuring a colorful cast of mugs and swells and set amidst the opulence and the poverty of nineteenth century Manhattan."
"Synopsis" by , As a newsboy on the streets of 1893 New York, thirteen-year-old Maks Geless has a hard enough time evading the grasp of the Plug Ugly gang, whose sinister boss wants to control all the newsies on the Lower East Side. But now Maks is burdened with a new challenge: proving the innocence of his sister, Emma — in just four days. While Emma’s confined to the city jail for allegedly stealing a watch at the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel, Maks teams up with Willa, a strange but loyal girl who lives alone in an alley, and Bartleby Donck, an eccentric lawyer (among other employments), to do some urgently needed detective work.

The vividly described sights and sounds of tenement New York — and Avi’s trademark plot twists and turns — thrust the reader alongside Maks as he confronts a world teeming with wealth and crime and struggles against powerful forces that threaten new immigrants and the fabric of family love.

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