Street Child by Berlie Doherty

Street Child

Written by Berlie Doherty
Part of the Collins Modern Classics Series

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Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month June 2016 Twice the winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal, here Berlie Doherty movingly captures the life of an orphan in Victorian London. Based on the true accounts of children whose lives led the famous philanthropist Dr Barnardo to set up his homes for children without families, Street Child is the troubling story of Jim Jarvis who is just a little boy when his mother dies leaving him all alone. Initially rounded up and taken to the workhouse, Jim soon escapes and finds a way of survival – and some friends. But surviving as a child in such a tough environment is tough. How can Jim stay out of trouble and be safe? Berlie Doherty makes the past come vividly alive in this story that will encourage all young readers to fight injustice. ~ Julia Eccleshare

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Street Child by Berlie Doherty

Essential Modern Classics are relaunched in gorgeous new covers bringing these timeless story to a new generation.

When his mother dies, Jim Jarvis is left all alone in London. He is sent to the workhouse but quickly escapes, choosing a hard life on the streets of the city over the confines of the workhouse walls. Struggling to survive, Jim finally finds some friends...only to be snatched away and made to work for the remorselessly cruel Grimy Nick, constantly guarded by his vicious dog, Snipe. Will Jim ever manage to be free?


A brilliant and moving book. Julia Golding, award-winning author of 'The Diamond of Drury Lane'

About the Author

Berlie Doherty

Berlie Doherty is one of the UK’s favourite children’s authors. She has been writing for over twenty years and is published in more than twenty languages. She is a prolific writer of novels, storybooks, picture books, and plays. Berlie lives in Derbyshire

Q and A with Berlie Doherty

Q Where do you get your ideas from?

Q How long have you been writing books for?

Q Do you do other jobs as well?

Berlie's houseQ Do you have a special place where you write your books?

Q Why do you write?

Q Do you have any children? Pets?

Q How did you feel when you won the Carnegie medal for the first time?

Q When did you start writing poetry? And how do you feel when you write your poems? (Emily Smithson)

Q Why did you decide to become an author? (Jade)

Q How long do you spend writing your book? (Jonathan Stapleton)
A Requiem took me ten years to write! I also wrote six books for children and several plays at the same time. Children of Winter took me about two weeks—the story just fell out of my head on to the paper! But usually, a children’s novel takes about twelve months, a picture book about a day. But that doesn’t take account of the years spent thinking.

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Book Info


208 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Berlie Doherty
More books by Berlie Doherty

Author's Website


HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

3rd September 2009




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