Rags and Riches: Kids in the Time of Charles Dickens
by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce
Magic Tree House Research Guide
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September, 2010
List Price: $4.99
Review: Rags and Riches: Kids in the Time of Charles Dickens is by Mary Pope Osborne. This nonfiction book goes along with Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time. This book describes the poor working conditions, the terrible jobs, and the terrible illnesses during Charles Dickens' times in London.
In the eighteenth century in London, England, kids and adults, rich and poor were walking in the dangerous, hazardous streets, in search of money. All the boys who had jobs were either a chimney sweeper, mudlark, trapper, drawer, factory worker, cloth maker, or a costermonger. If you were desperate for money you would steal money right from people's pockets. A journalist once wrote that in 1856, London police arrested over 73,240 people for stealing money.
The working conditions of most jobs caused horrible lung diseases by the pollution, smoke, and smog. The match factories produced a dangerous substance called phosphorus. Phosphorus is a chemical that lights up in the dark. In the chemical, the fumes caused a disease called phossy jaws which rotted many of the workers' jaws. As soon as the nineteenth century began, London began changing with the rest of the world, and started to improve the working conditions, put in safer equipment, and make factories safer.
In the end of the book, there was a happy ending because the people of London were experiencing working conditions that were better to work in than before. I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars because it was very intriguing to read about people of the eighteenth and nineteenth century from London, and about their horrible working conditions and how the conditions improved for the better. That is why I liked Rags and Riches.
Review written by Sam (5th grade student).
We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of Rags and Riches: Kids in the Time of Charles Dickens for this review.
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