Cover image for Dodger
Title:
Dodger
Author:
Pratchett, Terry.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper, [2012]

©2012
Physical Description:
360 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"In an alternative version of Victorian London, a seventeen-year-old Dodger, a cunning and cheeky street urchin, unexpectedly rises in life when he saves a mysterious girl, meets Charles Dickens, and unintentionally puts a stop to the murders of Sweeny Todd"--
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1210 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.0 18.0 156288.

Reading Counts RC High School 12. 25 Quiz: 59200.
ISBN:
9780062009494

9780062009500
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett's Dodger, a Printz Honor Book, combines high comedy with deep wisdom in a tale of one remarkable boy's rise in a fantasy-infused Victorian London.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger is content as a sewer scavenger. But he enters a new world when he rescues a young girl from a beating, and her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

From Dodger's encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd, to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in a breathtaking account of adventure and mystery.


Author Notes

Terry Pratchett was on born April 28, 1948 in Beaconsfield, United Kingdom. He left school at the age of 17 to work on his local paper, the Bucks Free Press. While with the Press, he took the National Council for the Training of Journalists proficiency class. He also worked for the Western Daily Press and the Bath Chronicle. He produced a series of cartoons for the monthly journal, Psychic Researcher, describing the goings-on at the government's fictional paranormal research establishment, Warlock Hall. In 1980, he was appointed publicity officer for the Central Electricity Generating Board with responsibility for three nuclear power stations.

His first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971. His first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. He became a full-time author in 1987. He wrote more than 70 books during his lifetime including The Dark Side of the Sun, Strata, The Light Fantastic, Equal Rites, Mort, Sourcery, Truckers, Diggers, Wings, Dodger, Raising Steam, Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales, and The Shephard's Crown. He was diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007. He was knighted for services to literature in 2009 and received the World Fantasy award for life achievement in 2010. He died on March 12, 2015 at the age of 66.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* On a stormy night in early Victorian London, an able young man named Dodger rises from the sewers in response to a scream, fights off two thugs, and rescues a damsel in distress. Dodger continues to rise throughout the novel, as his love for the mysterious lady motivates this tosher (scavenger for lost coins and other treasures in London's sewers) to elevate himself and leads him to a closer acquaintance with a string of historical figures, including Dickens, Disraeli, and ultimately, the queen and her consort. While most writers would be well advised not to include such characters in their books, Pratchett manages to humanize them without diminishing them or throwing the story off-kilter. However lowly Dodger's origins, he remains the most memorable character in the book. Living by his wits and unencumbered by conventional morality, this trickster hero expertly navigates the underbelly of his city as he carries out a bizarre scheme resulting in justice and mercy. The temptation to quote sentences, whole paragraphs, and possibly entire chapters is almost irresistible, because the pleasure of reading the novel is in the language as much as in the characters and well-researched period setting. Often amusing, this Victorian romp of a novel is lovingly crafted and completely enjoyable.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This superb novel from Pratchett is relatively subdued in its humor and contains virtually no fantasy, beyond a flavoring of early Victorian alternate history. It's not only a fine Dickensian novel-Dickens himself figures prominently. It follows a sewer-scouring "tosher" and thief named Dodger, "a skinny young man who moved with the speed of a snake," who, like a knight in soiled armor, leaps out of a drain one night to protect a young woman who is being severely beaten. Two of London's most famous figures, Charles Dickens and social reformer Henry Mayhew, appear on the scene a moment later. A complex plot gradually unravels involving the identity of the mystery girl, known only as Simplicity, and the reasons someone powerful wants her dead. Making guest appearances are such luminaries as Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria, and Angela Burdett-Coutts, the richest woman in the world at the time. Full of eccentric characters and carefully detailed London scenes, the tale embodies both Dickens's love for the common man and a fierce desire for social justice. Ages 13-up. Agent: Colin Smythe. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

On a storm-tossed night in Victorian London, Dodger, the hero of this picaresque tale, rescues a mysterious young woman, launching an adventure involving intrigue, murder, secret identities, Charles Dickens, and, ultimately, even the Queen herself. Since so much of the story takes place in the sewers, the author's endnote explaining that during this period they were used chiefly for drainage (rather than actual sewage) might have been better placed at the book's beginning. The story of Dodger's meteoric rise from the sewers is, if largely unbelievable, whimsical and warm in tone. Unfortunately, the heroine primarily exists to be rescued, which is disappointing in a book marketed toward younger readers. The spirited, versatile voice of Stephen Briggs is, as always, an excellent match for Pratchett's playful writing. VERDICT All in all, a sweet historical adventure with more than a trace of nostalgia; possibly more appealing for adults than for younger listeners. ["Pratchett does a bang-up job of re-creating Old London for today's audience, complete with pathos, humor, and truly nasty descriptions of the filth, stench, and danger, all narrated in Dodger's unique voice," read the review of the Harper: Harper Collins hc, SLJ 11/12.-Ed.]-Victoria Caplinger, -NoveList/EBSCO Pub., Durham, NC (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-The master of humorous fantasy has taken to historical fiction like a London guttersnipe to a large helping of bangers and mash, albeit with a touch of the fantastical. Dodger is an inhabitant of the worst stews of London, who makes a meager living as a tosher, a treasure hunter in the sewers under the city. His fortune changes, literally overnight, when he rescues a damsel in distress and comes to the attention of the not-yet-famous newspaperman Charlie Dickens. Together they embark on a mission to thwart the evildoers bent on recapturing the girl. Dodger is a thoroughly likable young rogue whose exploits bring him into direct contact with some of the best-known names in Victorian England-Benjamin Disraeli, Sweeney Todd, Sir Robert Peel, and, of course, Queen Victoria herself, with whom he spends a memorable afternoon taking tea. Pratchett does a bang-up job of re-creating Old London for today's audience, complete with pathos, humor, and truly nasty descriptions of the filth, stench, and danger, all narrated in Dodger's unique voice.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.