A Bandit's Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

A Bandit's Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a PickpocketThe problems of today s immigrants to the U.S kept coming to mind while I was reading this What s the connection Immigrants have always had a hard time here I m not sure if there s something comforting about that because so many groups suffered and then moved on or profoundly disturbing because so little changes Another interesting point This book deals with America s nonAnglo Saxon, Protestant experience.The author adds terrific end material, explaining all the historical elements she worked into the story Excerpt from Original Content. I thought of Charles Dickens book David Cooperfield A Christmas Carol Laura Ingalls Wilder book, The Long Winter Hard Winter by Johnny D Boggs.Also I thought of my ancestors and their arrival here in America The Arnolds and the Robbins families came during the Irish potato famine.Realization that we are a country made of Immigrants, good and bad, and how America was shaped the way she is today. From An Award Winning Author Of Historical Fiction Comes A Story Of Survival, Crime, Adventure, And Horses In The Streets Of Th Century New York CityEleven Year Old Rocco Is An Italian Immigrant Who Finds Himself Alone In New York City After He S Sold To A Padrone By His Poverty Stricken Parents While Working As A Street Musician, He Meets The Boys Of The Infamous Bandits Roost, Who Teach Him The Art Of Pickpocketing Rocco Embraces His New Life Of Crime He S Good At It, And It S Lucrative Than Banging A Triangle On The Street Corner But When He Meets Meddlin Mary, A Strong Hearted Irish Girl Who S Determined To Help The Horses Of New York City, Things Begin To Change Rocco Begins To Reexamine His Life And Take His Future Into His Own Hands When it is believed that 11 year old Rocco Zaccaro has brought shame to his family in their village of Calvello, Italy, he soon finds himself sent to New York City to work for a man his parents believe is honorable Signor Ancarola is a padrone or patron and promises the Zaccaro s 20 for the next four years, it Rocco continues to work for him It is 1887 and such things were still done to children then.After a long voyage in steerage, Rocco finds himself living in a cellar with a bunch of other kids on Mulberry Bend in New York s Little Italy There is never enough to eat and it s always cold, and each morning the children are giving musical instruments and told they must bring at least 1.00 back to Signor Ancarola or else face his paddle Not terribly inclined to play the triangle he is given, Rocco decides to work on getting his bearings first with the intention of coming up with a plan to leave Signor Ancarola And the first person he runs into is Mary Hallanan, a young Irish meddler determined to help all of the city s mistreated, overworked horses and who will weave in and out of Rocco s life for the next year or so Next Rocco meets Tony and Carlo, two older boys who introduce him to another, profitable way of earning his daily dollar pickpocketing Soon the three boys have quite a robust pickpocketing business going for themselves, but Rocco still suffers from homesickness and the desire to return to his family in Calvello Since the boys divide their plunder with the lion s share going to Tony, and Rocco handing over a dollar to Signor Ancarola everyday, it isn t surprising that he comes up with a plan to work afternoons on his own to make money Of course, Tony and Carlo warn his this is a bad idea, but Rocco is nothing if not hardheaded.This decision leads to adventures and even a stint in the House of Refuge for juvenile delinquents on Randall s Island, working for Jacob Riis, and even doing some meddling with Mary Hallanan and her blacksmith father But does Rocco ever find his way out of his muddled misadventures Does he ever see his family again And what about Tony and Carlo I love books that are set in New York City and A Bandit s Tale is right up my alley It is full of historical references and photos throughout, making it topnotch historical fiction Rocco is a lively, personable character, who just seems bent on learning things the hard way, despite the fact that his heart is always in the right place His journey is divided into four books and an epilogue, each book covering one of Rocco s big misadventures and his story is set between Spring 1887 and Spring 1889, a very interesting time as anyone who has ever looked as Jacob Riis s photos of the people living there will attest to You would think that a book that has themes like selling children to strangers, immigration, animal cruelty, and child labor would not sound very appealing to young readers, but Deborah Hopkinson s books are always so well written and well researched and this is not exception and Rocco s youthful narration really speaks to them A Bandit s Tale is a book that middle grade readers will certainly enjoy, especially since Rocco is a great picaro figure, in the tradition of the best picaresque novels and not often found in children s literature One important note 2016 is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the ASPCA and one of the figures that is mentioned in the novel is Henry Bergh, who was known as the Great Meddler and is Mary Hallanan s hero And no wonder, Bergh found the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866, Unfortunately, he died in 1888, which is also the turning point in Rocco s life I don t think that is too much of a coincidence.A Bandit s Tale is truly an inspiring work.This book is recommended for readers age 9 This book was sent to my by the author, Deborah HopkinsonThis review was originally posted on Randomly Reading Hopkinson, Deborah A Bandit s Tale The Muddled Misadventures Of A Pickpocket, 304 pages Steven Malk, 2016 17 Language G 0 swears, 0 f Mature Content G Violence PG Rocco is an eleven year old boy who has been taken away from his poor family in France to earn in America While being taken away from his abusive Padrone, Rocco learns how to pickpocket On the streets of New York City, Rocco is supposed to play a metal triangle to earn at least 1 a day While his Padrone isn t looking, Rocco pickpockets many people who aren t paying attention to their valuable belongings Rocco is very dirty and can only take a bath once a month and he never gets new clothes In the streets of New York, Rocco doesn t know how to speak English and only French I didn t like how the book doesn t explain things very well and makes you feel very confused I liked how the main character, Rocco, doesn t give up and keeps pushing forward to earn money for his family EL, MS OPTIONAL 7th grade student reviewer CKhttps kissthebook.blogspot.com 2018 this was a book about the mistreatment of children in New York City in the late 1800 s Many of them were immigrants from other countries This particular boy was from Italy and was sold to a man who brought him to America to work for him There were many boys that were given an instrument to play in the city and bring money back to the padrone Rocco was given a triangle to play and beg for money Each child was expected to bring a dollar back or they were punished There were many boys who lived in the basement of a building, no heat, very little food, baths once a month, and the padrone cut the lip of each boy to mark the boy as belonging to that padrone, etc One day 2 other boys approached Rocco about become a pickpocket and told him he would make money just for him As he began to learn the trade , he decided he could do it himself just as well He was caught and sent to the House of Refuge on an island where he had a bed, 3 meals a day and taught a trade He becomes a favorite of one of the policeman who worked there and would help him with different tasks He was put in the printshop to learn a trade and liked it One day Officer Reilly asked him to help with a boat and Rocco decides to escape He ended up in the worst blizzare New York had seen He made it to the mainland but was lost because of the blizzard He was I was very entertained by the Dickens style story of a young Italian immigrant boy in early 1900s New York City, whose Padrona basically slave owner forces him, and other young boys who have been given to him from poor villages in Italy, to play instruments on street corners to earn 1 a day The Padrona keeps the money while the boys live in a dank, cold cellar with little to eat But Rocco has ambitions and talent Though it seems he has little morals when he hires himself out as a pickpocket in an effort to escape his beggarly life style, his story winds its was from rags to riches in a certain way All the while I learned much rich history of the era, became introduced to interesting historical characters, enjoyed a bit of adventure and humor related to that time in history The end of the book contains an excellent and interesting description of this type of story style, its history and the true background of events and persons contained within. Rocco doesn t have it easy when he is snatched out of his home and family and shipped to America to raise money for someone else He soon learns to APPRECIATE what he s had He learns to COMMUNICATE with others buy learning English and sharing his ideas about the social issues he has survived through Because of his tough life he has EMPATHY for many other immigrants that have it hard He will need to TAKE A RISK to set things right.This story was sad, to hear about all the difficult things children were exposed to back in the day They weren t treated very well, and Rocco speaks up to make a difference. Tamara listened to this audiobook and wrote this review Once again another excellent nominee for this year s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award the Annual Vermont s Children s Choice Contest I was very entertained by the Dickens style story of a young Italian immigrant boy in early 1900s New York City, whose Padrona basically slave owner forces him, and other young boys who have been given to him from poor villages in Italy, to play instruments on street corners to earn 1 a day The Padrona keeps the money while the boys live in a dank, cold cellar with little to eat But Rocco has ambitions and talent Though it seems he has little morals when he hires himself out as a pickpocket in an effort to escape his beggarly life style, his story winds its was from rags to riches in a certain way All the while I learned much rich history of the era, became introduced to interesting historical characters, enjoyed a bit of adventure and humor related to that time in history The end of the book contains an excellent and interesting description of this type of story style, its history and the true background of events and persons contained within Download this from the Dover Free Library. An enjoyable and enlightening historical fiction novel set in New York in the late 1800 s Rocco is an Italian immigrant that has come to America under the care and protection of a Padrone Although this book reminded me a lot of The Clockwork Three and Oliver Twist, it was fresh and well written but just a tad too long.

I write picture books, nonfiction, and middle grade fiction I love history and visiting schools to talk to young readers Pre K 8 and sometimes high schools.My new books in 2019 are CARTER READS THE NEWSPAPER, HOW I BECAME a SPY, and WHERE IS THE KREMLIN Recent awards for picture books include ORDINARY, EXTRAORDINARY JANE being named a 2019 Oregon Book Award finalist I received the Jane Adda

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  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • A Bandit's Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket
  • Deborah Hopkinson
  • 02 June 2019
  • 9780385754996

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