Charles Dickens and the street children of London by Andrea Warren

     Review by:  Linda

Title:  Charles Dickens and the street children of London

Author:  Andrea Warren

Collection:  Childrens Non-Fiction

After reading the book Drood by Dan Simmons, I became interested in the personal life of Charles Dickens.  One day, while shelving books in Juvenile Non-fiction, I came across the book Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London by Andrea Warren.  It is written for children, but I found it interesting too.  The author included pictures and stories of the plight of the street children of the era.  She explained how Dickens wasn’t living on the street, but he was working alongside  homeless children as a boy.  Dickens would rather have been in school (imagine that!) studying, but family circumstances required him to earn an income when he was only 12 years old.  He never forgot the conditions of the poorer classes, and later in his writing encouraged the well-off to help the less fortunate.  His writing helped upper class people to empathize with people in his stories who were poor and homeless.  Many wealthy Londoners made a commitment to build schools and dwellings to help the poor better their lives.   This book shows the power of the written word, and may inspire the children of today to follow in Dickens’ footsteps and help those in need.

Andrea Warren grew up in the little town of Newman Grove, Nebraska, with her parents, two brothers, two sisters, and their dog, Pepper. She always loved to read and write, and decided she would become an English teacher. She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a master’s degree in British Literature. While teaching high school English and history in Hastings, Nebraska, She wrote her first stories for publication.

Later she moved to Lawrence, Kansas, to complete a master’s degree in magazine journalism at the University of Kansas. After briefly editing a magazine and working as a newspaper reporter, she began her career as a freelance writer, contributing to many major magazines. She also began writing books. In 1996, Houghton Mifflin published her first nonfiction book for young readers, Orphan Train Rider: One Boy’s True Story.

She was encouraged by the success of this book to follow it with other books for young readers.  Her books have won many awards, including the prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Orphan Train Rider.

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