THE KING OF MULBERRY STREET by Donna Jo Napoli
Kirkus Star

THE KING OF MULBERRY STREET

Age Range: 9 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This powerfully vivid story has the immediacy of Napoli’s always-immaculate prose, coupled with a basis in family lore and urban history that make it irresistible. Nine-year-old Beniamino loves his mama, his family, his city of Napoli and all of its scents and sights. His mother puts him on a cargo ship to America without her, for reasons that he may not ever figure out, arming him with the parables of his Jewish and Napoletano heritage and a new pair of shoes. Renamed Dom Napoli at Ellis Island, he tells his first-person tale of survival, exploration and learning on the streets of lower Manhattan at the end of the 19th century. Careful and smart, Dom allies himself with a pair of boys, one under control of a vicious padrone, buying huge sandwiches and then reselling them, cut in parts, on Wall Street from a borrowed cart. From his first days sleeping in a barrel to teaching his widowed landlady to make his favorite foods, Dom’s voice and presence make his life as real and as tangible as possible. History come to vibrant life for middle-grade readers and almost anyone whose ancestors came from foreign lands. (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-74653-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2005




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