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Bowery Girl by Kim Taylor
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Bowery Girl (2006)

by Kim Taylor

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Bowery Girl is a heart-breaking narrative of the life of Mollie Flynn, a "Bowery Girl" who supports herself as a pickpocket in New York City. She spins her world around her friend Annabelle Lee, a young prostitute, who saved her from sleeping on the streets when Mollie was just a girl, and gifted her with both her name, and a dream to make it to Brooklyn for a better life. As they wait for the bridge to be built between New York and Brooklyn they dream, they scheme, and they fall victim to their own lives. Mollie is an engaging protagonist, and she carries well the story of poverty that haunts her neighborhood. Highly recommended. ( )
  Luxx | Oct 3, 2011 |
The year is 1883 and the Bowery section of NY thrives with a seedy sub culture of gangs, prostitutes, pickpockets and hustlers who do what they can to simply survive.

The streets are a tough place to live. The tenement houses team with rats. Filth, vulgarity and obscenities reside with the masses. Urine slides down alleywayswhere in dark corners prostitutes provide services which hardly pay for the day's food.

Two orphan teenagers Annabelle, a prostitute and Mollie, a pickpocket live together in slum housing. Barely eking a living, they have unrealistic dreams of escaping to Brooklyn where they believe life will be better. Instead of rags, they will dress in finery. Against incredible odds, they long for a life of respectability.

When Annabelle becomes pregnant the odds of escape seem insurmountable. Strong willed Emmeline DuPre runs a settlement house wherein the girls can learn to type and speak proper English. As Annabelle and Mollie try to better themselves they must choose to obey the rules or return to the only life they have ever known.

With the backdrop of the building of the Brooklyn bridge, this book is an excellent reflection of a hard scramble life and the hope of a new pathway out of darkness.

While categorized as YA, because of the obscenities and vivid descriptions, I would not recommend this to some age groups. It is clearly for adult population.

Recommended ( )
1 vote Whisper1 | Sep 22, 2011 |
This is a great work of juvenile literature in a much needed genre. It is hard to find good historical fiction for kids that is both informative and written well enough to maintain a child's interest. This book meets those standards and will keep its readers at the edge of their seats as they cheer on the two girls who are just trying to make their way in hard times. ( )
  Saieeda | Aug 10, 2009 |
Interesting book. I like historical fiction and enjoyed reading about what life was like for the poor in 1883. The characters were very likeable even if their lifestyle was deplorable. ( )
  MrsHillReads | Apr 9, 2008 |
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To Nina Solomita
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Down the street strode a young woman, who could have been anywhere between thirteen and twenty.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670059668, Hardcover)

The Bowery, 1883: Gamblers and thieves, immigrants and Street Arabs, Do-Gooders and charity houses, impossible dreams and impossible odds. This is the story of two "Bowery girls"—the pickpocket Mollie Flynn and the prostitute Annabelle Lee, young women without family or education who must fend for themselves.Two young women whose survival depends on each other. After a chance encounter with Emmeline DuPre, a "Do-Gooder" who has recently opened a settlement house, Mollie and Annabelle are given the opportunity to better themselves. But the city offers many temptations, and on the streets of the Bowery, you do whatever it takes to survive.

This vibrant, carefully researched novel shows how much—and how little—our world has changed.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In New York's tenements in 1883, two orphaned teenage girls realize that their dream of saving enough money to move to Brooklyn across the newly-built bridge may be achieved if they learn new trades at a nearby settlement house, rather than continuing their lives of prostitution and stealing.… (more)

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