Joshua's Song by Joan Hiatt Harlow

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Boston, 1919. It’s been a terrible year for thirteen-year-old Joshua Harper. The influenza pandemic that’s sweeping the world has claimed his father’s life; his voice has changed, so he can’t sing in the Boston Boys’ Choir anymore; and now money is tight, so he must quit school to get a job. It’s not fair!

Joshua begins working as a newspaper boy, hawking papers on the street, but he soon finds himself competing with Charlestown Charlie, a tough, streetwise boy who does not make things easier for Joshua. It seems that fitting in is not as easy as it once was. Then disaster strikes the city of Boston. Joshua must do what he can to help, and in doing so he finds the place—and the voice—that he thought he’d lost.

This remarkable novel is fast-paced, suspenseful, and based on true incidents in Boston history.

About Joan Hiatt Harlow

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Joan Hiatt Harlow is the author of several popular historical novels on the McElderry list, including Secret of the Night Ponies, Shadows on the Sea, Midnight Rider, Star in the Storm, Joshua's Song, and Thunder from the Sea. Ms. Harlow lives in Venice, Florida. For more information, visit her website at
Published July 23, 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 160 pages
Genres: Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Joshua's Song

Publishers Weekly

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Newsboy kingpin Charlestown Charlie (a tough Irish immigrant) presses Josh into service as a "newsie," and Josh is also hired to sneak story leads to their boarder, "uncle" Marc Muggeridge, an editor for the Boston Traveler.

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How does Joshua come to find his voice, his song, and his place in the new world during a terrible crisis?

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