Friday, March 21, 2014

Readdreamrelax #34 The Journal of Finn Reardon, A Newsie, New York, 1899 by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Finn's Irish family embodies many of the hopes and dreams of immigrants as they endure the setbacks and challenges of poverty. Finn's desire to become a reporter does not extend to enjoying school, just as his father's aspirations for wealth sometimes lead him outside the law. The 13-year-old's buddies, Racetrack and Mush, are also newsies and, along with Grandpa Jiggsy, keep things humming. Bartoletti's engaging style using slang (heavy use of "my arse" throughout) and the family's Irish background help the story to become much more than a recitation of historical facts. This story of life as a newsie, hawking papers on the streets of New York, is a standout in the series. The book includes an imagined epilogue that continues the deception that this is a real diary, and a historical note provides the accurate context with numerous photographs. For fans of the series, this title will be a highlight-it's entertaining and the characters leap off the pages.Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA (Taken from

(The Summary in goodreads isn't accurate at all...Finn's father never dies and he doesn't have eight siblings)

For my take on the book, click here COMING UP

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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