City of Orphans by Avi & Greg Ruth

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Synopsis

Plot twists, big accusations, and plenty of shifty, crooked characters fill the pages of this harrowing adventure from Newbery Medalist Avi.

The streets of 1893 New York are crowded and filthy. For thirteen-year-old newsboy Maks Geless, they are also dangerous. Bruno, leader of the awful Plug Ugly Gang, has set his sights on Maks and orders his boys to track him down. Suddenly Maks finds himself on the run, doing all he can to evade the gang, with only his new friend Willa by his side. And that’s just the start of Mak’s troubles. His sister, Emma, has been arrested and imprisoned for stealing a watch from the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel. Maks knows she didn’t do it—but will he be able to prove it in time?
This is a riveting, quickly paced adventure set against a backdrop alive with the sights and sounds of tenement New York.
 

About Avi & Greg Ruth

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Lynne Ewing is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Moon series, and the popular companion series Sons of the Dark and Sisters of Isis. Ms. Ewing lives in Los Angeles, California, and Washington, DC.
 
Published September 6, 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 370 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for City of Orphans

Kirkus Reviews

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The two kids team up and eventually learn the truth: the evil Mr. Underton was blinded by Sarah's mother 11 years ago when he tried to steal the token that's the source of power for the metropolis (N.Y.C.), which will freeze if the token isn't delivered to safekeeping each December 21 by Sarah's ...

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Kirkus Reviews

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Avi’s City of Orphans is a stellar transport back to the New York City of 1893, where an immigrant family, and in particular young Maks, a “newsie,” suffers the slings and arrows of misfortune.

Sep 09 2011 | Read Full Review of City of Orphans

Kirkus Reviews

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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.

Jul 15 2011 | Read Full Review of City of Orphans

Publishers Weekly

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After outlining an altered version of New York City's history, the elaborately plotted saga shows how, through courage and cunning, two preteens, Carlos and Estella, and Estella's clairvoyant mother thwart a power-hungry villain and thereby prevent Manhattan from turning to ice.

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Publishers Weekly

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PW selected this comic-book-style novel as a 1993 Best Book of the Year, calling it ``a timeless tale.'' Ages 9-up.

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

Aug 22 2011 | Read Full Review of City of Orphans

Examiner

Young protagonist Maks chats up readers like a tour guide, as he leads sidekick Willa along grisly side streets, up the steps of Tombs prison where his sister is wrongfully imprisoned and down a dank, dark hole leading to the dangerous Plug Ugly Gang hide away.

Jul 06 2012 | Read Full Review of City of Orphans

Common Sense Media

Fearing that Emma will be sent away, Maks and Willa seek help from private investigator Bartleby Donck, who guides Maks as the boy searches for clues at the Waldorf.

Sep 06 2011 | Read Full Review of City of Orphans

KidsReads

Maks is a newsie, a young boy who makes money to help support his family by selling copies of The World, one of New York City’s many newspapers at the end of the 19th century.

Sep 06 2011 | Read Full Review of City of Orphans

Reader Rating for City of Orphans
90%

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