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WALK THE WILD ROAD by Nigel Hinton


by Nigel Hinton

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4377-6
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

After he punches a nobleman’s deserving son, 11-year-old Leo must flee or face prison, so he takes to the road in a Poland being torn apart by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Determined to make for the sea and find a way to America, he is joined by artful dodger Tomasz, a likable, streetwise 14-year-old on a quest of his own. Along the way, they encounter their share of misfortune as well as a series of adults, some kindly and helpful, others only interested in taking advantage of the youths. The sense of place and time is strongly conveyed, including poverty, brutal prejudice and an unfair class system. The two main characters are reasonably well developed, and the obstacles they face are never minimized in this coming-of-age tale. But sentence structure rarely varies, colorful imagery that would have lifted it to a higher level is lacking and the plot-driven narrative moves forward at a measured, too-predictable pace. These factors all conspire to keep this from rising above a crowded field. (Historical fiction. 10-14)