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Terry Pratchett
Teen Fiction PRATCHE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This superb novel from Pratchett is relatively subdued in its humor and contains virtually no fantasy, beyond a flavoring of early Victorian alternate history. It's not only a fine Dickensian novel-Dickens himself figures prominently. It follows a sewer-scouring "tosher" and thief named Dodger, "a skinny young man who moved with the speed of a snake," who, like a knight in soiled armor, leaps out of a drain one night to protect a young woman who is being severely beaten. Two of London's most famous figures, Charles Dickens and social reformer Henry Mayhew, appear on the scene a moment later. A complex plot gradually unravels involving the identity of the mystery girl, known only as Simplicity, and the reasons someone powerful wants her dead. Making guest appearances are such luminaries as Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria, and Angela Burdett-Coutts, the richest woman in the world at the time. Full of eccentric characters and carefully detailed London scenes, the tale embodies both Dickens's love for the common man and a fierce desire for social justice. Ages 13-up. Agent: Colin Smythe. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

On a storm-tossed night in Victorian London, Dodger, the hero of this picaresque tale, rescues a mysterious young woman, launching an adventure involving intrigue, murder, secret identities, Charles Dickens, and, ultimately, even the Queen herself. Since so much of the story takes place in the sewers, the author's endnote explaining that during this period they were used chiefly for drainage (rather than actual sewage) might have been better placed at the book's beginning. The story of Dodger's meteoric rise from the sewers is, if largely unbelievable, whimsical and warm in tone. Unfortunately, the heroine primarily exists to be rescued, which is disappointing in a book marketed toward younger readers. The spirited, versatile voice of Stephen Briggs is, as always, an excellent match for Pratchett's playful writing. VERDICT All in all, a sweet historical adventure with more than a trace of nostalgia; possibly more appealing for adults than for younger listeners. ["Pratchett does a bang-up job of re-creating Old London for today's audience, complete with pathos, humor, and truly nasty descriptions of the filth, stench, and danger, all narrated in Dodger's unique voice," read the review of the Harper: Harper Collins hc, SLJ 11/12.-Ed.]-Victoria Caplinger, -NoveList/EBSCO Pub., Durham, NC (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Dodger
Age: 17
Street urchin; has a love at first site moment with an unknown girl;.

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