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Street Child

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  327 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Read the story of Jim Jarvis, the boy whose plight inspired Dr Barnardo to found his famous children's homes. Now published into the 'Essential Modern Classics' list.
Paperback, 194 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published September 30th 1993)
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Street Child by Berlie Doherty is about Jim Jarvis whose mother dies and he is left an orphan in London to fend for himself. He is picked up by the Police and sent to the work house. Jim dreams of escaping and one day he finally takes his chance annd makes his escape. The story takes you on a journey through his life and the many people he meets and jobs he has in order to survive.

He finds an old friend of his mother’s who takes him and he helps her sell seafood in the streets. However Jim is t
Emma Walker
This book follows a young boy named Jim who is found homeless in London after the death of his mother. The book begins with Jim living with his mother and two sisters, but it becomes clear very early that the family do not have much money and are asked to leave the small room that they share after falling behind with the rent. Jim’s sick mother is forced to leave her daughters with a friend and Jim is taken to the workhouse. His mother dies here, and after Jims escape he becomes homeless on the ...more

Love it!

Might write the review later, I've wasted enough time I need to do my work now!!


I loved this book for many reasons:

1. I enjoy reading books that are set in London.
2. Historical Fiction.
3. A book that you actually LEARN from. I learned about how life in England was in the 1800s, and about the workhouses! Which is something I didn't really know about before.
4. About a little boy's struggle for survival.
5. The cover............
Molly Tuckwell
Good book,funny,but also sad at the same time.
Laura Dowsett
This is the story of Jim Jarvis, a boy who is orphaned and forced to work in an East London workhouse. Eventually, fearing that his whole life will be spent in the workhouse, Jim decides to escape. The rest of the book follows his journey through London. During this time he tries to find his sisters (who he was separated from when he was put in the workhouse), works for a cruel and abusive man on a coal boat and lives as a ‘street child.’ It is during his time on the streets that he meets Barney ...more
Street Child by Berlie Doherty is story set in the Victorian times. The books follows a young boy called Jim Jarvis. The book shows the continued struggles he faces after the death of his mother. With this tragedy in the family, Jim and his siblings are split up and he is used as a child labourer in a factory and at this point Jim is left to fend for himself on the streets.

‘Street Child’ is a popular power of reading book. This book is ideal for KS2 children (Yr 5 and 6) and with the cheeky sch
Giorgos Georgiou
Street Child is book written by Berlie Doherty which explores the theme of street children in London during victorian times. When Jim's father dies, he and his mother and sisters are thrown out of their cottage. Their new home is a single room in an overcrowded tenement. Food is scarce since Jim's mother can't earn much of a wage on her own. And when she falls ill - a cholera epidemic is sweeping Victorian London - the money runs out altogether and they are evicted again. Despite being horribly ...more
Sheryl Jeremiah
Street Child is about a young boy called Jim who lives in the Victorian era. Jim and his family face many troubles and then the family are separated leaving Jim all alone. Jim is very determined to get out of the awful workhouse he is stuck in and finally manages to escape. But as he escapes one awful place, he ends up in another awful place with Grimy Nick. Jim eventually gets his freedom for once and for all. He meets Dr Barnardo who changes his life forever.

I really enjoyed reading Street Chi
Read this out loud with my 10 year old daughter and we've really enjoyed it.
Nicola Mansfield
As part of the Essential Modern Classics series the book starts with an informative paragraph bio. of the author followed by an essay entitled "Why You'll Love This Book" written by a famous author, in this case Julia Golding. Then a quick blurb on just who is Julia Golding. This publisher's series also sometimes end with extra material at the back of the book called "More Than A Story". Here we have some very interesting pertinent information which really adds to the satisfaction of having read ...more
Hannah Burgess
This book tells the story of Jim Jarvis who inspired Dr BArnardo to open his Ragged Schools.I am working with a year 3/4 class who are currently studying the victorians. This book provides the story of a boy living in the victorian times and the hardship him and his family had to face.

There have been many activities we have been able to do with this book not only in history lessons but in literacy and ICT lessons too. We have been able to act out the book in small groups to enhance their unders
Justin Lim
This book talks about a young boy who is thrown around England and has lost everything in his life except his name. He realizes that other kids in England are even worst, they don't even know their names or when they were young. The boy first gets thrown into the workhouse, then gets slaved by a coal digger, thrown into a circus, runs around the street, loses his best friend, then ends up in a ragged school. He gets adopted by a very loving doctor/school teacher.
Lori Watts
Jim Jarvis is a runaway. When his mother dies, Jim is all alone in the workhouse and desperate to escape. But London in the 1860s is a dangerous and lonely place for a small boy and life is a constant battle for survival. Just when Jim finds some friends, he is snatched away and made to work for the remorselessly cruel Grimy Nick. Will Jim ever be free?

Review: Based on the true story of the orphan whose plight inspired Dr. Barnardo, Street Child is an exciting, evocative and often deeply-moving
Megan Wiffen
Jim Jarvis is a young orphan who escapes the workhouse in 1860's London. He survives brutal treatment and desperate circumstances. London is a dangerous place for a young boy like Jim! After a long journey, he is finally taken in by Dr Barnardo, founder of a school for 'ragged' children.

This was a good story to read with Year 5. The children were learning about Victorians in Topic, so they knew lots about that era. I did a role play lesson with the class, the children had to think of questions
Simply an amazing book. The way the story is told is good, putting in mind that it's a real story. It tells the misery Jim lived very clearly.
Only thing is: after Jim ran away from the workhouse it took me some days to start reading the book again, though I was really excited about what would happen next until then.
I used this book to read to my class alongside our Victorian topic. It really served to explain the depth of deprivation of the poor families in that time. It's hard hitting and develops some really interesting characters. Perfect for teachers looking for a topic related book.
Annelise Costa
I loved this book called 'street child' it is a fantastic book about a little boy called Jim Jarvis who lives with his mother. After that his mother died but now he has to live ... On the streets! Please read this book to find out more
I remember the first time I heard this story. When I was eight, my teacher read this story to the class and I blame it fully for laying a foundation stone for my interest in history. Jim Jarvis is, at the start of the book, basically Oliver Twist he escapes from the workhouse and tramps the streets of London, going from one awful situation to another. In the end, he finds his liberation in the form of a benevolent benefactor, the founder of the Barnardos childrens homes. This story is wonderful ...more
Sam Burrow
Jim Jarvis is a young homeless/orphan who escaped The Workhouse in the 1860s in London. He survives many depressing circumstances including the death of his mother, being homeless and leaving his sisters forever. London is a dangerous place for a young boy like Jim. After a long journey, he is finally taken in by Dr. Barnardo, founder of a school for 'ragged' children. Barnando (Barnie) teaches Jim and his homeless friends about God.
This was a quick read for me and I liked the happy ending. This
Based on the character Jim Jarvis,this is a moving book set in the 1860's.Jim is an orphan who escapes the workhouse and has to face life on the streets of London with no money and no family.Can he survive?
I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 11 and certainly to all schools as it teaches you about the life of a very unfortunate Victorian child,whilst funny and emotional.
Melissa Morris
Really enjoyed it! There different challenges in every chapter. Grateful for the slice of knowledge at the end.
Street Child is a novel written by Berlie Doherty, Jim Jarvis (the main character) has no where to go except the streets. He begs many people to let him live in their house but all but no one lets him except for his mother's friend. He ends up on the streets again. His best friend(Shrimps) gets very sick and Jim would have been heading that way too if it wasn't for a school teacher with a passion for caring.
I think that this story has taught me what life was like in the 1860s in London. Children
Street Child
By Berlie Doherty
For Children in years 5/6
This is the true story of a Victorian street child called Jim Jarvis. Jim is left to fend for himself in London during the 1860’s when his mother dies. The story vividly describes Jim’s harsh life and his struggles to survive. In desperation Jim seeks sanctuary in a ragged school, where he tells his tragic story. It is this story that inspires Dr Banardo to start up his homes for the street children of London. This story highlights the brut
Tayzar Beasley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Romy Nehme
Halfway Through!! The story is amazing. I liked how the events are stated.The story talks about a little boy who has 2 sisters and a motheer. He is very poor.His sisters began working in a kitchen of their mother's friend. The boy and his mother were taken to the workhouse where the mother dies just as i predicted ! After a year, the boy escapes to find his sisters . He goes to his mother's friend's house and starts hellping her with her new work after she was fired from the other job. But he st ...more
This book is great its just that there are loads of characters and if you are interested then you need to remember all of them which is hard but if you like this book you might like a book called The boy in striped pyjamas it is about ww2 but very interesting that is all about that but street child is very mind gripping and it will stay with you until you've read the last page
This book is good because it tells you about the work house and I didn't know that dr barnado was a kind man who created homes for orphans.
Ursula Clancy
one of the most moving and beautiful books I've ever read. It is definitely one of my favourite books and I was touched by it. The novel is amazing and beautifully written. It is so attention grabbing and gripping. I was engaged by the first page. I really love this book. The fact that it is based on a true story really touched my heart. I would recommend this to anyone.
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Berlie Doherty née Hollingsworth is an English novelist, poet, playwright and screenwriter. She is best known for children's books, for which she has twice won the Carnegie Medal.She has also written novels for adults, plays for theatre and radio, television series and libretti for children's opera.
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