Dodger

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9780062009494
Pages: 360

Dodger, a scavenger, emerges from the sewer to rescue a girl being beaten. Charlie and Henry witness the rescue and take her to Henry’s home to treat her injuries. Because she can't speak, they call her Simplicity. After some research, the trio learn that she was secretly married to a German prince whose family is determined to hide all evidence that it ever happened. They send an assassin to kill the marriage witnesses and Simplicity, and they pressure the British government to find and return her. Dodger suggests to fake Simplicity's death in the sewers of London with Charlie and Henry as witnesses.

Set in Victorian England, Dodger encounters several historical characters, including Charles Dickens, Sweeney Todd, Robert Peel, and Benjamin Disraeli. While not all of these historical figures lived during the same time, Pratchett gives readers an interesting take on their personalities, often differing from common perception. Imaginative and true to the setting, Pratchett infuses humor into this tale full of adventure, mystery, and some romance. Dodger is an appealing character whose experiences teach about true Victorian conditions. Although the book is well written, keeping track of who’s who can get a bit confusing.

*Contains moderate violence.