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The Resource City of orphans, Avi ; with illustrations by Greg Ruth

City of orphans, Avi ; with illustrations by Greg Ruth

Label
City of orphans
Title
City of orphans
Statement of responsibility
Avi ; with illustrations by Greg Ruth
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In 1893 New York, thirteen-year-old Maks, a newsboy, teams up with Willa, a homeless girl, to clear his older sister, Emma, from charges that she stole from the brand new Waldorf Hotel, where she works. Includes historical notes
Storyline
Writing style
Award
Land of Enchantment Book Award (New Mexico), Young Adult category, 2014.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Grades 5-8 Dickensian street action comes to New York’s Lower East Side in this gripping story, set in 1893, about newsboy Maks, 13, who feels “hungry twenty-five hours a day.” After rescuing a filthy, homeless girl, Willa, Maks takes her to the crowded tenement he shares with his struggling Danish immigrant family. Pursued by Bruno, the leader of the Plug Ugly street gang, Maks is desperate to save his sister, Emma, who was imprisoned after being falsely accused of stealing a watch from the Waldorf Hotel, where she worked as a cleaner. Just as compelling as the fast-moving plot’s twists and turns is the story’s social realism, brought home by the contrasts between the overcrowded, unsanitary slums (“No water, gas, electricity”) and the luxurious Waldorf. Then there are the unspeakable conditions in prison, where, even as a prisoner, Emma must pay for food. Avi writes in an immediate, third-person, present-tense voice, mostly from Maks’ colloquial viewpoint (“He’s full of heartache, but no one is seeing it”), with occasional switches to Willa and to the young gangster leader. Threading together the drama are tense mysteries: Is Willa really an orphan? Who stole the watch? Pair this riveting historical novel with Linda Granfield’s 97 Orchard Street, New York: Stories of Immigrant Life (2001), a nonfiction account of Lower East Side tenements. -- Rochman, Hazel (Reviewed 08-01-2011) (Booklist, vol 107, number 22, p43)
  • Gr 6 – 8 — Maks Geless, 13, and his family live in a tenement in 1893 New York City. His father and older sister work in a factory; another sister works as a maid at the new Waldorf Hotel; his mother takes in laundry; and his younger brothers are still in school. Maks works as a newsie, selling newspapers on street corners. Lately he has been fighting off a gang that is trying to steal his earnings and he has found an unlikely defender in Willa, a homeless girl his age. After his sister is accused of theft at the Waldorf and awaits trial in prison, Maks, with help from Willa and a mysterious detective, seeks to prove her innocence and defeat the gang. Avi gives his omniscient narrator the voice of an old-time movie tough guy, complete with "ain'ts" and dropped first letters ("'specially," "see 'em," "'bout"). He paints a colorful, exciting picture of city life at the turn of the last century, while not shying away from its hardships. While guests at the Waldorf live in luxury, Maks's family deals with illness, filth, and death. The plot moves swiftly, covering much in just five days. The narrative wraps up, like a gangster movie, with a shoot-out at the Waldorf. An author's note grounds the tale in history, and Avi offers additional reading and viewing options. Ruth contributes several fine pencil sketches of the main characters, placing them nicely in their environments.—Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT --Geri Diorio (Reviewed August 1, 2011) (School Library Journal, vol 57, issue 8, p94)
  • /* Starred 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.) --Staff (Reviewed August 22, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 34, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ An immigrant family tries to survive crime, poverty and corruption in 1893 New York City. Earning enough money to cover the rent and basic needs in this year of economic panic is an endless struggle for every member of the family. Every penny counts, even the eight cents daily profit 13-year-old Maks earns by selling newspapers. Maks also must cope with violent attacks by a street gang and its vicious leader, who in turn is being manipulated by someone even more powerful. Now Maks' sister has been wrongly arrested for stealing a watch at her job in the glamorous Waldorf Hotel and is in the notorious Tombs prison awaiting trial. How will they prove her innocence? Maks finds help and friendship from Willa, a homeless street urchin, and Bartleby Donck, an eccentric lawyer. Avi's vivid recreation of the sights and sounds of that time and place is spot on, masterfully weaving accurate historical details with Maks' experiences as he encounters the city of sunshine and shadow. An omniscient narrator speaks directly to readers, establishing an immediacy that allows them to feel the characters' fears and worries and hopes. Heroic deeds, narrow escapes, dastardly villains, amazing coincidences and a family rich in love and hope are all part of an intricate and endlessly entertaining adventure. Terrific! (author's note, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10012823
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1937-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Avi
Dewey number
[Fic]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • 010-014
  • HL570L
  • Decoding demand: 88 (very high)
  • Semantic demand: 100 (very high)
  • Syntactic demand: 80 (high)
  • Structure demand: 87 (very high)
Intended audience source
  • Lexile
  • Lexile
Interest level
MG
LC call number
PZ7.A953
LC item number
Cit 2011
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 6
  • 8
Nature of contents
bibliography
Reading level
3.5
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Ruth, Greg
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (New York, N.Y.)
  • Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (New York, N.Y.)
  • Families
  • Homeless girls
  • Gangs
  • Immigrants
  • Mystery and detective stories
  • Family life
  • Homeless persons
  • Gangs
  • Immigrants
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • New York (N.Y.)
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
City of orphans, Avi ; with illustrations by Greg Ruth
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A Richard Jackson Book."
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
885624
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
350 pages
Isbn
9781416971023
Lccn
2010049229
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9781416971023
Label
City of orphans, Avi ; with illustrations by Greg Ruth
Link
Publication
Copyright
Note
"A Richard Jackson Book."
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
885624
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
350 pages
Isbn
9781416971023
Lccn
2010049229
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9781416971023

Library Locations

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      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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      30.3632362 -97.6984619
    • North Village BranchBorrow it
      2505 Steck Ave, Austin, TX, 78757, US
      30.362144 -97.7305032
    • Windsor Park BranchBorrow it
      5833 Westminster Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3116523 -97.6902298
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