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Ragged Dick & Mark, the Match Boy (Ragged Dick)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  123 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Two famous novels by Horatio Alger that focus on rags-to-riches tales.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Touchstone Books (first published 1962)
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Frank Stein
Jun 05, 2012 Frank Stein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

These are two young adult novels published in the late 1860s, and though they are as simple and as didactic as one might expect from novels of that era, there's nothing else like them for opening a window on the life of street children in nineteenth century New York.

In the first novel, Ragged Dick, the main character, takes a country friend on a tour down Broadway, passing by Barnum's American Museum, A.T. Stewart's Marble Palace Department Store, the Cooper Institute and other noteworthy sites,
Mar 07, 2008 Howard rated it it was amazing
There's something fascinating about the total lack of nuance or ambiguity, the completely diagrammatic story of good rewarded and bad punished. And then you factor in how popular some of these books were, which means they were part of the programming, they're worth looking at.
May 29, 2007 Tom rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The best way to indoctrinate your helpless little kids into the American Dream.
Dec 31, 2012 Tobinsfavorite rated it really liked it
Horatio Alger is not good. What is good in this edition is the introduction by Rychard Fink. (Yes. Rychard Fink.) In it, he describes how Horatio Alger is not good, but he is important in American culture. What is more, Fink says that if you read these two, you pretty much understand all there is to know about Alger. Fink also amuses the reader greatly at Alger's expense.

With all that, I enjoyed reading these two novels. I enjoyed the smart remarks by the hero, I enjoyed the sudden turns of fate
May 31, 2009 Corbin rated it did not like it
Shelves: classics, 23
Because everyone should know the core myths of their society of origin.

Apparently the American myth goes something like this: Be charming, clever, and hardworking. Spend every cent you earn the same day you receive it. Revere notions of private property above all else. Sooner or later the wealthy and wise will see you for the diamond in the rough you are, dust you off, and give you a good-paying job--just so long as you're not so impertinent as to want or to ask for such a thing.

Because that's w
Rachel Terry
Jul 02, 2009 Rachel Terry rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvie, classics
These stories are simple and very linear, but they're charming. The character of Ragged Dick is so funny and likeable that you want to keep reading just to see what he'll say next. It's a fascinating look at the past. I read it on my own the first time, and now I'm reading it to the kids. They are enjoying it more than they've enjoyed some current blockbusters, which surprises me. I wonder if it's because the children in the stories are so independent. I think most kids imagine how they'd get al ...more
Jan 07, 2009 Brodie added it
Shelves: literature
I've read three of Alger's novels before, about a boy named Walter. The first was titled "Strong and Steady." But Ragged Dick is the classic. What surprised me was the fact that RD read so much like a travel narrative. The story is structured around Dick showing a wealthy boy the ins and outs of NYC. He points out the posh hotels and restaurants, and instructs the boy how not to get swindled by merchants selling adulterated goods. So, oddly enough for a story named for a boy, the story is as muc ...more
Nov 15, 2008 Felicia rated it it was ok
Shelves: ugh-never-mind
My understanding is that Horatio Alger was the pop fiction superhero of his time: sort of a 1930s Nicholas Sparks or something.

Yeah, I'm not big on "The Notebook", either. So far this book is ubercute, ubermoral, if you've got a good heart and a strong constitution and are willing and able and honest, you will make it. Someone will find and discover and encourage and mentor you. Bla, bla, bla.
Dec 12, 2007 Jon rated it it was ok
This is like a PG version of the Little Rascals. You go little guy! It makes me feel bad about blowin' my childhood cash on anything things like G.I. Joes and Big League Chew while I could have been saving money and plotting to exploit Honduran children when I got older.
School read, supposed to be inspiring for all us bored, no-need-to-work-because-we-have-everything adolescents! See what this enterprising young boy made of his life!!!
Dec 08, 2012 Alaina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Four stars for its interest as an historical artifact, two stars for its literary qualities.
brian tanabe
Sep 03, 2007 brian tanabe rated it it was amazing
All boys should read Alger in their formative years.
Caffection Mariah  Byron
Dec 21, 2009 Caffection Mariah Byron rated it it was ok
Shelves: byron-read
Charles Dickens he's not.
Mar 25, 2009 Derek rated it it was ok
its terrible. but it gives a glimpse of new york before the brooklyn bridge when it was more like new dehli. gives a few histories of neighborhoods, and above all a revolting and saccheriney waspish veiw of destiny
Hal Johnson
Hal Johnson rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2016
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Mar 27, 2016
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Mar 18, 2016
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Edwin Despuig rated it really liked it
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Jan 12, 2016
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Horatio Alger, Jr. (January 13, 1832 – July 18, 1899) was a prolific 19th-century American author, most famous for his novels following the adventures of bootblacks, newsboys, peddlers, buskers, and other impoverished children in their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of respectable middle-class security and comfort. His novels about boys who succeed under the tutelage of older mentors were h ...more
More about Horatio Alger Jr....

Other Books in the Series

Ragged Dick (6 books)
  • Ragged Dick
  • Fame and Fortune
  • Mark, The Match Boy, Or, Richard Hunter's Ward
  • Rough and Ready or Life Among the New York Newsboys
  • Ben, the Luggage Boy: Or Among the Wharves
  • Rufus and Rose, Or, the Fortunes of Rough and Ready

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