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Ragged Dick: Street Life in New York with…

Ragged Dick: Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks (1867)

by Horatio Alger Jr.

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Typical Horatio Alger story; was a suggested read to see the style of writing and the ways of a typical street urchin. ( )
  ShadowBarbara | Jan 27, 2017 |
I actually read this when I was in elementary school, and I love it even now! It's funny, engaging, and inspiring, as it follows the story of Dick Hunter from his position as a lowly bootblack to an honorable member of society. One of my favorite childhood stories :) ( )
  CatherineHsu | Jun 8, 2016 |
OK. He had me until the end. This previously homeless kid is an expert swimmer? Seriously? Where did he learn? Where did he swim? Who taught him? I know it's just some silly adolescent book that is decades old, but you should still not have plot holes like this. Otherwise, it was very good. The character of Dick was a really entertaining character. ( )
  AliceAnna | Aug 17, 2014 |
Dick is the hero in a rags-to-riches story. ( )
  TonySandel2 | Feb 11, 2013 |
On the surface, this is a great story. A poor street-smart boy cares for himself, helps his friends, and eventually with a bit of mentoring, learns how to improve his life. When MUCH younger I read one of Alger's books and I was besotted.

But if you dig deeper, you realize the absolute horror of this life: these boys were fending for themselves some at a very young age because their parents had either died, taken ill and couldn't work, or because they had been abandoned. Most had no shelter, winter or summer, owned only one set of clothes, in tatters, ate only when they had enough money earned from boot-blacking, selling newspapers, making deliveries and similar menial jobs. Many turned to theft to survive. Yes, some were lazy but many worked hard never managing to improve their lives.

And if this was street-life for boys, how much worse it must have been for girls in similar circumstances.

Like Alger it would be nice to believe that all it takes to succeed is hard work and education but that is a "fairy-tale," an over-simplified, self-righteous and unfair premise. ( )
  Bookish59 | Feb 13, 2011 |
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Awards and honors
To Joseph M. Allen, at whose suggestion this story was undertaken. It is inscribed with friendly regard.
First words
"Wake up there, youngster," said a rough voice.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451524802, Paperback)

The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Boys; New York (N.Y.); Bildungsromans; Poor children; Street children; Shoe shiners; Fiction / Literary; Juvenile Fiction / Classics; Juvenile Fiction / Boys

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:16 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Although he manages to make a living as a shoeshine boy in late-1860's New York City, orphaned, fourteen-year-old Dick Hunter remains homeless and without many prospects until two new friends inspire him to better himself through education.

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