Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks
“I ain’t knocked round the city streets all my life for nothin’,” proclaims Ragged Dick, the fast-talking boy hero of Horatio Alger’s classic rags-to-riches tale. Dick is a plucky street boy who smokes, gambles, and speaks ungrammatically—but he is also honest and hardworking, striving not for wealth and status, but for a steady job, a decent place to sleep, and respectability. A quintessential boy’s novel of adventure, romance, and coming of age, Ragged Dick brings to life the drama and perils of living among other young outcasts in the crowded streets of lower Manhattan. It is at the same time an exhilarating tale of one boy’s metamorphosis from a dirty street urchin to a handsome, self-respecting gentleman.