Monday, February 6, 2012

Middle School Monday Review:  City of Orphans  by Avi
The streets of 1989 New York are dangerous, particularly for "newsies" like 13 year old Maks.  One evening after pocketing the last few pennies from his papers, he is chased and threatened by Bruno, leader of the Plug Uglies gang.  A homeless girl named Willa comes to Maks's aid, and the two forge an unlikely friendship.  Maks life becomes even more complicated when his older sister, Emma is imprisoned in "The Tombs", a famous jail in New York City, charged with stealing a patron's watch from the fancy Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where she worked as a maid.  Maks, believing her innocent, has four days to prove her accusers wrong.  Aided by lawyer Bartleby Donck and Willa, Maks begins an investigation to clear his sister's name. This novel brings to life the corruption, deplorable living conditions for immigrants in city tenements, and fear of contracting an illness like Tuberculosis.  Several mysteries run through the book - Is Emma innocent?  Is Willa really an orphan?  Who did steal the watch?  If you like history, adventure, and solving mysteries - this is the book for you!

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