- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 0740 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 038575499X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385754996
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Bandit's Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—As this lively, fast-paced novel attests, the streets of late 19th-century New York City were especially cruel to young immigrants trying to improve their chances of upward mobility. Eleven-year-old Rocco, newly arrived in New York after a misunderstanding caused by an obstinate donkey, is sold to a cruel and miserly padrone who sends "his" group of children to perform as street musicians. Anxious to fill his hungry belly and escape his wretched living conditions, Rocco joins a group of pickpockets, and although he's increasingly uncomfortable about taking people's money, he's able to justify his actions until he meets Meddlin' Mary, a young Irish girl who, with her father, is devoted to caring for the city's mistreated and overworked horses. Through his encounter with Mary and her father, Rocco is immersed in a new world, and he meets historical figures, including Jacob Riis, who were instrumental in social reform movements dedicated to improving the lives of children and animals. In a picaresque style, Rocco narrates his own journey from a street bandit to a prison escapee and ultimately to a young man dedicated to improving the lives of other immigrants. VERDICT A strong choice for fans of Rodman Philbrick's The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (Scholastic, 2009) and those who enjoy adventures about scrappy and resourceful kids who have to rely on their own smarts and the kindness of strangers to change their lives.—Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MA
"A strong choice for fans of Rodman Philbrick’s The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (Scholastic, 2009) and those who enjoy adventures about scrappy and resourceful kids who have to rely on their own smarts and the kindness of strangers to change their lives." —School Library Journal starred review
"A dynamic historical novel ideal for both classroom studies and pleasure reading." —Publishers Weekly starred review
Top customer reviews
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Pros: Rocco’s adventures cover a dizzying array of people and places from late 19th century New York City. He’s a scrappy, likeable narrator, and kids will learn a lot of history while enjoying a page-turning set of adventures.
Cons: The author’s notes seemed a bit too long to hold most kids’ attention.