published in 2000


Appropriate age:
Young Adult (age 15-18)
Reading level:
Grade 7
Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Cultures: England, Europe
Subjects: History, Values


"Leon Garfield is unmatched for sheer, exciting storytelling." --Lloyd Alexander This brilliant, picaresque novel follows the adventures of an illiterate young ragamuffin known only as Smith. Smith picks the pocket of a stranger, only to witness immediately the strangers murder. Smiths booty from the theft is an Important Document, no doubt worth quite a lot to somebody, which is proved by the pursuit of Smith by two very shady characters. Smith artfully dodges them and winds up in the odd company of a wealthy blind man, who takes Smith into his home and provides him with an education. But this new comfort is lost when Smith himself is suspected of the very murder he witnessed. Smith was a Boston Globe--Horn Book Honor Book, winner of the Phoenix Award, and a Carnegie Honor Book.