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Slake's Limbo

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  474 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Read by Neil Patrick Harris
2 hours 23 minutes, 2 cassettes

An ALA Best Books for Young Adults
An ALA Notable Children's Book
An ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults
The Horn Book Fanfare List

Desperate, driven, harassed to the breaking point, Slake decides to go underground—into the sheltering depths of the New York City Subway where he ends up staying for one hundred an
Paperback, 0 pages
Published July 26th 1977 by Dell Pub Co (first published 1974)
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(showing 1-30 of 844)
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Lily Author
May 29, 2010 Lily Author rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I forgot to add this one. Slake's Limbo, in my honest opinion, is a prime example of how YA literature can be incredibly interesting and thought-prokoving, without any patronizing nonsense. I first read this book when I was 12, and I still re-read it every so often. This one is a timeless tale.

Slake's Limbo is a fascinating story about a young boy who escapes the hardships of his life by hiding in an underground subway tunnel. With a strong sense of preservation and an intense im
Feb 02, 2014 J. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Back in the day, in 7th grade that is, I was in English class. A regular English class, not honors, or advanced or anything like that. It felt like prison. As a matter of fact I remember thinking exactly that. My most vivid memory of that 5th period 42 minute educational session was that I was deathly terrified of my teacher, and did anything to prevent her from yelling at the class, which she did quite often. She was middle aged, and clearly bored with her job. She was too scary to be an elemen ...more
Feb 23, 2008 nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody to not add to the growing suicide rates.
Recommended to nicole by: my 6th grade teacher.
this book was a joke. i was hoping he would get hit by a subway car while living there, but it was only a fond dream.
Feb 04, 2015 Uri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un dels primers llibres que vaig llegir a la vida.
One of the first books I ever read.
Oni de la unuaj libroj ol mi legis.
Mar 30, 2014 D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In looking for a book to read with my high school remedial reading class, I happened upon this little book, originally copyrighted in 1974. At only 117 pages, it was short and an easy read for the four boys in my class who read well below their grade level. I was leery after reading S. E. Hinton's Rumblefish with the class. I found Rumblefish violent and inappropriate, but this book was quite the opposite. Slakes Limbo is about a young boy, Aremis Slake, who is constantly abused and bullied at h ...more
Ray Cavanaugh
Jan 20, 2011 Ray Cavanaugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the one book from grade school which I recall fondly.

Abused and impoverished, Slake’s life pretty much blows. So he goes underground, into the tunnels of the NYC subway system.

There he hawks secondhand newspapers, befriends a hungry rodent, and finds a few benefactors.

This kid’s book is well-written by any standard; it is also profound in its portrayal of human kindness and misery.
Tyler Leptich
Slake's Limbo by Felice Holman is a story about a boy named Slake that has no family. He runs away and takes to the underground subway tracks. After a while, he finally finds a life for himself in a tunnel of the subway that he calls home, and lives there. He works for a newspaper company down in the subway, and sweeps the floors of a nearby coffee shop for some spare change and food. He lives a mostly solitary life, and has everything workesd out until a section of the subway falls on a train. ...more
Oct 06, 2010 T rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
slow, barely anythig to think about, seems like a waste of a book to put on a school reading list. Too juvenile for jr high. not enough moral, although there is some possible discussion, butnot enough to justify it. completely clean.
Jan 12, 2016 Elise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Though I thought that the idea behind the story was different from other stories, I never found the this story to be great or very interesting. If I wrote the story I would have added more parts about the Turban man and Slake.
Slake's Limbo was a good book about a young boy who escapes the hardships of his life by hiding in an underground subway tunnel. After a while, he finds a hole or cave in the wall of the subway that he calls home, and lives there. He realized that he was in a newspaper busi
Taylor Mayes
Apr 23, 2012 Taylor Mayes rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i had to read it for school.
Apr 12, 2009 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Had fear followed him here or or had they arrived together?"

--Slake's Limbo, P. 56

I first heard about and became interested in this book in the pages of Karen Hesse's "Phoenix Rising". I sort of took her positive mentions of Slake's Limbo as a kind of endorsement, and in my book anything that is recommended by Karen Hesse is certainly worth giving the read.
Felice Holman's writing style is quite beautiful, with a quiet, understated flow that I thought really blended well to tell the story of
Jan 16, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back when I was about in second grade (it's probably not a good book for 8 year-olds, but somehow I obtained it). For well over a decade now, the bird imagery & the subway & other assorted aspects of the plot have been haunting me: after reading the book, I couldn't find it again and described it to many people, none of whom could tell me what book it was, though I did get a "sounds familiar" from a brother. FINALLY, this year, my bestest best friend (who is so totally a ...more
Dec 05, 2007 Kyle rated it liked it
1974. This is one of those 70s young adult books that you can't help but think they wouldn't let kids read today or perhaps even publish.

It's about a really down and out white kid in NYC. He's abused by his aunt who he lives with. He has a cot in her kitchen. He always hungry. He's short for his age so the kids beat him up a lot and take his stuff. He's near-sighted and he doesn't have glasses.

So what does he do? He runs away and lives in the subway. It then becomes almost as cool as From the Mi
Lauren Sowers
Personally, I liked this book but I sometimes would have liked if there were more items in the novel that were just painted in black and white. I normally enjoy much symbolism and hidden little facts about the book, but there were so many it had made my head spin. However, the plot was very eventful and other than that I really enjoyed this book. It was full of good characters and the sort of side - story was very interesting within the whole story as well.
Elizabeth Ezekiel
I read this book in my English class. Though I thought that the idea behind the story was unique, I never found the plot to be engaging or the characters to be particularly interesting. Of course, I understand the Slake is not supposed to be an active character and his purpose is to be a dull, "worthless lump". However, I think that more of a backstory for Slake would've made up for the lack of personality. Overall, I think it was an okay book, but would I recommend it to a friend, probably not.
Nov 04, 2014 Cassidy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2015 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slakes limbo, by Felice Holman
Genre: Novellas

This kid named Slake Limbo has a really weird life. He live in a subway then ends up as a bad guy even though he is a good guy. Someone tell me how is this kid of a young age is doing it. I rated this book 5 stars because it tells me how being a homeless person is. And it is horrible and terrifying at the same time
Apr 20, 2009 Jia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slake's Limbo 4/19/09

By Felice Holman
117pp New York, NY
Aladdin Paperbacks
ISBN: 0-689-71066-6

Have you ever spent one night at the subway without going home? Slake did and he lives in a room under ground in the subway station. Slake was a boy who collects used newspapers and makes a living selling them. Slake had to deal with a lot tough situations by himself and it was not an normal teenager boy would face.

Slake was an homeless boy who was able to take care of himself at a young age. Even tho
Juan Moreno
This book is about a 13 year old boy named Aremis Slake who would always get beat up for any reason or just get bullied all the time. Aremis Slake was small and skinny. Almost everyday Slake would get bullied and so he was chased to the subway. The subway was his house and only protection from the outside world. At the end of the book Slake recieves his first mail in his life. This made Aremis Slake feel that someone in the world was thinking of him.
Skylar Burris
Jun 09, 2013 Skylar Burris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I read this in (I think) 5th grade. It's one of those childhood reads that stuck with me in odd details. To this day, I remember this runaway kid, who lived in the subway, feeding himself by putting the free ketchup on the free crackers and selling used newspapers. That's my only concrete takeaway, but I do know it had an impact on me at the time, that it lit my imagination and longing for freedom - not as much as The Mixed Up Files...but in a similar way. This was a darker book than The Mixed U ...more
I read this book in 6th grade. It made me realize that you can hate books.
Slake is a dirty trash boy who lives in a subway hole that he decorates with trash. I feel no pity for him.
I read this long ago and really liked it at the time. I want to reread it asap.
May 24, 2011 Delia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read but a very good story. I realized only after I read it that this book is mostly narrative, there's hardly any dialogue. I think that's really cool because the author told the story so well, the characters didn't need to speak. Slake is a very brave character for living the way he does and his second-hand newspaper business is eco friendly! I like how the stories of Willis and Slake combine, I didn't expect them to be connected in such a way! They both make a difference in each other ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Critic20001 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
had to read for school terribly written
Dec 09, 2015 Tanner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a very good book I liked it
Jeff Somogyi
Jan 18, 2015 Jeff Somogyi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
absolute shit.
Nov 02, 2012 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf-read
I wasn't very entertained or enlightened or impressed by this book. Don't misunderstand me though: I wasn't very. For me, this book was simply impassive. The story was continuous, the plot was blunt, the characters understood.
There were only simple details that struck: the bird, the rat, the mobiles, the waitress. Those things were understood, as well, but they were beautiful all the same. In that way, this book was actually masterful...
Short. Straight. Unelaborated. Enjoyable.
Oct 13, 2009 Cj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because it talks about slake hiding 121 days in the subway. The main character is slake because it talks about how he hid in the subway for 121 days. This book reminded me of robinson crusoe because he also has to try to survive. I want to know why slake didn't tell that he was lost because he could've been easily.I think that Slake didn't want to tell the police why he was alone because he wants to prove that he can take care of himself.
Jan 18, 2014 Evan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-niños
"Very interesting" according to my 5th grade cumulative reading log. I started it on 12/2/1996 and gave it a 5/6.
Feb 23, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1993-to-1997, age-ya
I really liked this book, despite the way 80s cover. Slake decides he's going to live in the subway for while (I can't remember why). I do remember being very fascinated by how Slake makes it on his own, finding a hiding place down there, how he rides the subway all day, how he gets money for food... It was just a really interesting book about how he hides underground for a few months while dealing with personal problems.
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Felice Holman was born October 24, 1919, in New York City. She graduated from Syracuse University in 1941 and later worked as an advertising copywriter. She married Herbert Valen in 1941 and some of the experiences of their daughter, Nanine Elisabeth Valen, would serve as the model for her first book, Elisabeth, The Bird Watcher, which was published in 1963.

During the 1960s, she published two more
More about Felice Holman...

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