THE OUTSIDERS OF USKOKEN CASTLE by Kurt Hold

THE OUTSIDERS OF USKOKEN CASTLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After twelve printings in German, the Outsiders invade America, a welcome arrival. They are five orphans in a small Yugoslav village, banded together to forage for food and shelter; their leader is the redheaded Zora, the latest recruit is Branko, a hungry boy who has just buried his mother. A few friends--Curcin the baker, Gorian the fisherman--and clever thieving keep them alive, fierce courage helps them to settle scores with other youngsters and adults literally by hook or crook. Their bravado and cunning carry them through some close escapes and some clever acts of revenge before they begin helping Gorian in his feud with the wholesale fish company which is trying to ruin him. When they replace the gigantic tuna meant for the mayor's gift with a dead dog (the traditional sign of decision), they're almost done for, but an impassioned speech by the old fisherman saves them--he points out that the towns-people who suffered from the Uskoken pranks and robberies should have seen that the children were cared for. They're all apprenticed off vowing to remain thick friends. Each boy is an individual, each villager at least a distinctive caricature, sometimes more; the Robin Hood action is constant and engrossing. Despite some Hessian heaviness, a fast-moving book that will be read, talked about, passed on to friends, even acted out after school.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday