The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts:
High adventure about one boy’s attempt to fend for himself among cruel orphan masters, corrupt magistrates, and conniving thieves.
Wakening to a terrible storm, 12-year-old Oliver Cromwell Pitts finds his English seaside house flooded and his lawyer father gone off to London, leaving the child bereft, penniless, and facing the unsavory possibility of being remanded to the children's poorhouse. Alas, that is exactly what happens. Happily, circumstances and quick wits allow him to flee the dreadful place, but, his life now in danger, he must escape to London. But how? Because of his escape and the fact that he has, er, borrowed some money, he's wanted by the authorities and must travel secretly, and the road to the capital is long and fraught with danger-there will be no relying on the kindness of strangers. Will he find his way to London? One hopes so, for our hero Oliver is an unusually appealing character, whom we applaud while decrying his enemies, who are deliciously evil, unctuous, and depraved. In using Oliver as his first-person narrator, Avi does a superb job of suggesting the style and syntax of eighteenth-century speech, while telling an ingeniously plotted Dickensian story filled with suspense, surprises, and ultimately satisfaction. It reminds us, who may have forgotten, why reading is such high entertainment and pleasure. Please, sir, may we have some more? (Yes: a sequel is promised.) (Michael Cart, Booklist)
Website copyright 2003 - Avi. All rights reserved. Site designed by Winding Oak.
Materials on this website may be copied for classroom or library use but may not be reprinted or resold for commercial purposes.