Suitable for 9 - 11 years

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Rated 5/5 from 30 ratings

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Product description

Jim Jarvis is a runaway. He has fled the dark and terrible workhouse where he was dumped when his mother died. But London in the 1860s is a dangerous and lonely place, and life is a constant battle for survival. Just when Jim finally finds some friends, he is snatched away and enslaved by the remorselessly cruel Grimy Nick. Constantly watched and hounded by Nick’s vicious dog, Snipe, will Jim ever be free? From Carnegie Medal winner Berlie Doherty, this gripping adventure is based on the true story of the orphan whose plight inspired Doctor Barnardo to set up his famous children’s refuge.

Also available: Read and Respond activities to accompany Street Child.

Product Details

Catalogue number

2748 in Schools Catalogue 2024–25 and 1502 in Education Catalogue 2023–24







Date published

September 3rd, 2009

Accelerated Reader

AR book level: 5.1; Middle years; 5.0 points

Other details

  • 208 pages



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What kids think

  1. Gibbler
    on 18 July 2020

    The depression and heroism is written beautifully! Would strongly recommend it for readers 9-11 years old.

    4out of 5
  2. Thebookreviewer01
    on 10 December 2017

    I read it in class and it is a heart breaking book

    5out of 5
  3. Brambs4life
    on 25 December 2016

    I have read this book and it can get quite strange so not the book for me

    2out of 5
  4. Maddie2005
    on 13 April 2016

    This book is very touching I will not explain a lot of this book if I do there is no point of reading it so all I am going to say is this is based in the Victorian times.

  5. Selinda769
    on 7 April 2016

    we read this before and I Nearly started to cry because this is so sad but really good!

  6. Jasmine-1602
    on 27 March 2016

    It is very enthusiastic and it is very heart breaking the boy doesn’t get anything to eat only a piece of stale bread each day well I actually mean evening. His mother is very mean to him. He is very sad it is very good you should read it! I rate it as a five loved it really nice I rate this to you all. Please do reply If you love books like street child. It is very funny as well so yes read it.

    5out of 5
  7. Fried-Freddie-Fish
    on 10 March 2016

    I t was very good and I liked how it was half related to real events. I definetly think you should read this book!😄

    5out of 5
  8. bright303
    on 19 February 2016

    I read this book with my class when we were learning about the workhouse. We had found the book really interesting.

    4out of 5
  9. 123booklover
    on 17 February 2016

    This was a really good book.

    5out of 5
    on 12 February 2016

    It is very nice story. We all had started reading Street child. I loved it and it is very true story about Jim Jarvis.

    5out of 5
  11. XXmegzXX
    on 14 May 2015

    I really liked this book and I thought it had great description of Jim Jarvis. Reccommend this to everyone!

  12. roxie13star
    on 7 May 2015

    Read it in classss….was okkkk

    3out of 5
  13. rockrockin
    on 2 March 2015

    i think this is a victoiraian story

  14. I-LOVE-BOOKS-12345
    on 15 January 2015

    we are reading this book in year 5 because of our topic the VICTORIANS when my teacher was reading it she got a bit emotional and the ending was a bit weird

  15. loliam9
    on 6 November 2014

    street child is an amazing but sad book and I would recommend this book for 9 and above

  16. nastyboots
    on 10 March 2014

    My teacher read my class this book in year 5 as part of our Victorian topic. I liked it a lot but I thought the ending was a bit strange.

    4out of 5
  17. crazykitty
    on 9 March 2014

    Love this book I f feel sorry for him because his mum dies when hes young I dont know what I would do without my mum

  18. Leahka99
    on 8 March 2014

    I love this book so much

  19. alibaba4
    on 8 March 2014

    A sad but true book

    5out of 5
  20. Potterfan7
    on 8 March 2014

    I read this book at school and loved it, i bought it and couldnt stop flicking the pages. Snipe, the mean and sly dog, is exceptionally horrible. This book is very emotional, so tissues at the ready!

  21. Readingwizard55
    on 7 March 2014

    This book is a really heart clenching emotional book about the life of a orphan Jim Jarvis.

  22. Princess2205
    on 6 March 2014

    I love this book at times its so emotional and funny grimy Nick is a nasty character .this book is very good for me i am really enjoying it so exited to read more 😃😃😃

  23. Spidergirl
    on 6 March 2014

    This book tarted good them just dragged on a bit not for me

    2out of 5
  24. Lottiedxx
    on 27 January 2014

    It has great word choices! We are reading this in yr 5 and everyone is so intreged we have got to the bit when he has just tried to clean the carpet and is deciding wether to runaway but tip thinks he shouldnt

    5out of 5
  25. emz1415
    on 4 January 2014

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo BORING

    1out of 5
  26. Honey-pops
    on 30 October 2013

    it was fanstastic

    5out of 5
  27. cuteiqra2013
    on 13 July 2013

    So far so good im reading it in school with my class so it is kind of emotional and sad but it is kind of a true story so yeah… LOL :)

    4out of 5
  28. lilmizdiva
    on 26 June 2013

    Ok book

    5out of 5
  29. CaitlinR12
    on 11 April 2013

    Didn’t like it.

    1out of 5
  30. onedirection514
    on 9 April 2013

    so sad . hate the sound of gruel. i tried it on a victorian day

    5out of 5
  31. 1q2w3e
    on 27 March 2013

    amazing we read it at school

    5out of 5
  32. melone08
    on 21 March 2013

    We were read this in year 4 and it was a great book!!

    4out of 5
  33. Milly99
    on 14 March 2013

    Hi my teacher read this to me and my class I liked it

    5out of 5
  34. Isma8132
    on 13 March 2013

    It is the most interesting book ever. I read it with school when we were learning about the victorian era. In that term I learned how lucky I am to be educated. I also learned about the workhouse as the author described it very well!! I would rate it 10 out of 10 That user Isma is my other account made a new on saw my other user then remembered it si now i’ve got 2 accounts

  35. amylou215
    on 13 March 2013

    I read this book a while ago, and the story is very intriguing. Definitely worth a read if you like history, or the Victorian era. It’s the modern-day take on Oliver Twist.

    4out of 5
  36. asha112501
    on 10 March 2013

    We read this as a class last year and I absolutely loved it! I cried and felt empathy for Jim but I wish it told you what happened to his sisters

    4out of 5
  37. xxChocolateBoxGirlxx
    on 9 March 2013

    This book was okay, but it wasnt really my type

  38. Isma
    on 9 March 2013

    It is the most interesting book ever. I read it with school when we were learning about the victorian era. In that term I learned how lucky I am to be educated. I also learned about the workhouse as the author described it very well!! I would rate it 10 out of 10

  39. clarh066
    on 8 March 2013

    really i dont like old fashioned books

  40. Jenkoboom
    on 8 March 2013


    5out of 5
  41. lillycutety874
    on 8 March 2013

    I adored this book it really made me feel that I am really lucky to have a home

    5out of 5
  42. rockstar101
    on 8 March 2013

    this book is amazing

  43. AgentTigerlily132
    on 8 March 2013

    Great book read it with my class x

  44. supercoolcharm
    on 7 March 2013

    This is a wonderful book. It is set in Victorian London. It is about an orphan, Jim Jarvis, who escapes a workhouse but faces many challenges. I liked this book as it shows what life was like for the Street children in the Victorian era. I recommend this book for all ages.

    5out of 5
  45. emzy500
    on 7 March 2013

    this book is good and a intresting read i recomend this book ages 12-100!!!! very good!

  46. chloehudson
    on 7 March 2013


    5out of 5
  47. MSK
    on 6 March 2013

    This is a wonderful book. It is set in Victorian London. It is about an orphan, Jim Jarvis, who escapes a workhouse but faces many challenges. I liked this book as it shows what life was like for the Street children in the Victorian era. I recommend this book for all ages.

    5out of 5
  48. rahul2313
    on 6 March 2013

    the coolest book ever verry good book

  49. bouncybunny
    on 5 March 2013

    I read this in school it gos in to detail a lot but I didn’t liked it much ,not really my kinda book

  50. Rimmy786
    on 5 March 2013

    This is an amazing book and i read it only a few years ago but i still can imagine the story in my head noe.This novel is full of emotion and mystery in how Jim survives and struggles.

    5out of 5
  51. Paradise56
    on 5 March 2013

    this book is interesting to read

  52. TheMileLongBookshelfBlog
    on 5 March 2013

    One word – incredible. <3

    4out of 5
  53. ellis8
    on 5 March 2013

    ok.some bits good

  54. 1224aleeza
    on 4 March 2013

    This is a great book and is a great heart warming story

    5out of 5
  55. lap312i
    on 4 March 2013

    this book really touched me

    4out of 5
  56. samcharlie123
    on 4 March 2013

    Street Child is a really good book! I love the detail it goes into when describing the workhouse. We read it at school when learning about the Victorians.

    5out of 5
  57. natashakrywald
    on 4 March 2013

    its heart warming

    5out of 5
  58. a11timehorses
    on 4 March 2013

    I read this book in school it is amazing!

    5out of 5
  59. CaptainThunderDan
    on 4 March 2013

    This book is really emotional and touching. It is about a young boy who is very poor and one day comes home to find his mother is dead. Sorry for the spoiler, though there is much more to the book:)

    5out of 5
  60. Smellyelle
    on 4 March 2013

    I loved this book. I would tell everyone to read it.

  61. 1Dluver2002
    on 4 March 2013

    this is a heart touching story

  62. powerpush22
    on 4 March 2013

    This book was very moving and made me think about the differences from now and the victorian era!

  63. abirnawi20
    on 3 March 2013

    Really heart-warming

  64. jenko006
    on 28 February 2013


  65. lovsmiley
    on 28 February 2013

    i loved this book !!

    5out of 5
  66. Book-Addict
    on 28 February 2013

    We read this book in class and it was so amazing! We loved every bit of it and one day we read 10 chapters in one day and still never got bored. At first we never knew it was based on a true story! This book makes you want to read it more and more! Some boy in my class didn’t like reading books now he never wanted to stop reading it! Some bits are so moving, like Grimy Nick, Shrimp, Rosie’s Granddad,Tip and the work house. BEST BOOK EVER!

    5out of 5
  67. booklover12366
    on 25 February 2013

    I done this book with my class! I loved it and it was very interesting.

    5out of 5
  68. lollypop61
    on 23 February 2013

    definate wanna read

  69. bookworm212
    on 21 February 2013


    3out of 5
  70. booklover360
    on 18 February 2013

    read this book in class it was really good

    5out of 5
  71. AbbyBromo
    on 17 February 2013

    We are reading it in class and it is BRILLIANT so far carn’t wait to read the rest of chapter 8 and see if he escapes

  72. strawberryfairy
    on 15 February 2013


  73. lollypo3547
    on 18 January 2013

    in class i am reading this book and i think that its a great book but its a bit sad now i`m doing drama too .

    5out of 5
  74. 123456711
    on 21 November 2012

    I am reading this bookin class.


    5out of 5
  75. thunderball72
    on 6 November 2012

    Loved this book read it in class one of the best books i have ever read.

    5out of 5
  76. Joshuaboo4
    on 23 October 2012

    Read this in class and it was mazing😃 Overall awesome book!!

  77. Meemz86
    on 16 October 2012

    I love this book I read it in class

  78. littleturtle262
    on 1 July 2012

    A great fiction story about a non fiction boy, Jim Jarvis and his life living on the streets and workhouse.

    4out of 5
  79. simpson22
    on 30 April 2012

    not a bad book even though i only read a little. i would recomend it with the reviews i have read.

    3out of 5
  80. secret7
    on 22 April 2012

    I read this book in class and it was AMAZING, I lOVED it.

    5out of 5
  81. saphirelillyrose
    on 19 April 2012

    I read this in my class in school because we where finding out about victorian life BUT ITS SO SAD BUT THE HOLE CLASS LOVED IT THOUGH!!!

    5out of 5
  82. inezglitter
    on 9 April 2012

    This book is a very sad book but still very interesting and it is very touching about Jim Jarvis All the same GREAT BOOK THAT I WOULD RECCOMEND TO ANYBODY BETWEEN 9 AND ANY OTHER AGE UPWARDS

    5out of 5
  83. GregHeffley86
    on 8 April 2012

    This book is quite exciting, but nothing happy ever happens until the end! It’s all quite sad.

    2out of 5
  84. Superangel24
    on 2 April 2012

    I loved this book. A real heart rending story!

  85. kayleighpotter1
    on 7 March 2012

    I think is a heart-rending masterpeice

  86. AwesomeDebora
    on 6 March 2012

    I think that this book is very thoughtful and heart breaking to me. It makes me think about the book a lot because of the way it is written. The book is old but it is still original as if it is written now.

    1out of 5
  87. garrygiggle
    on 6 March 2012

    A great adventure

    5out of 5
  88. pawprint2
    on 5 March 2012

    this looks like a good book

    5out of 5
  89. nikki657
    on 4 March 2012

    this looks like a very good book to read cant wait to read it

  90. roberta31
    on 3 March 2012

    When Jim Javis’s family find it hard to live, so their mother sends her daughters away and Jim to the workhouse. Will Jim manage to escape?

    The best book I ever read!

    5out of 5
  91. eve624860
    on 3 March 2012

    it sounds heart breaking

  92. Booklover88
    on 3 March 2012

    We read this at school and I enjoyed it greatly. It is not the kind of book I would pick off the bookshelf but I found it quite entertaining. I am not sure if I would be able to keep reading if I read it myself but our teacher is, fortunately, amazing at reading out novels and I found myself begging for more (as we read it in little sections.) Even though I love anything historical, I think if it had not been for our teacher’s reading talent I would not have enjoyed it as much. I found it lacking in similes and metaphors in some parts: you can never have enough description! All in all a great book but not the best I have ever read. By Matilda

  93. sweethart184
    on 2 March 2012

    a lovely book

  94. ehm
    on 2 March 2012

    I am reading this as a class novel and it is great, well what I have read of it anyway!!! It is about a poor Victorian boy who is shoved into a workhouse.

  95. angelslater
    on 2 March 2012

    this looks like a very good book to read

  96. mosspants
    on 1 March 2012

    I love this book. i have this in school and its great.

    5out of 5
  97. Bookworm81
    on 29 February 2012

    I read this book in Year 5 and loved it, I want to read it again and again.

    5out of 5
  98. 10000madison
    on 22 February 2012

    this is okay but many year 5 kids should read it

    1out of 5
  99. emilyb31
    on 19 February 2012

    read it as a guided reading book loved it

  100. street
    on 19 September 2011

    my opinion is that it is a really interesting/sad book about a poor Victorian family who gets split up.

    5out of 5
  101. King100
    on 7 June 2011

    Extremely good book I enjoyed it so much it was wriiten perfectly. Read it go on.

    5out of 5
  102. phia3008
    on 3 June 2011

    hi everyone my mum bought this book for me in easter but i haven’t read it yet! it looks awesome! from phia3008 x

  103. XxShOrOuQxX
    on 1 May 2011

    street child, really an interesting name, it’s just so exciting, i want to wake up in the morning and find it next to me. my father promised me he is going to buy it for me in my birthday.

    5out of 5
  104. HorseT
    on 3 April 2011

    I think this book is really going to be a great book even I haven’t read it

  105. barbie444
    on 12 March 2011


    5out of 5
  106. mango34
    on 9 March 2011

    i have not read it but i hope it will be amazing because it sounds amazing

    4out of 5
  107. jessie2301
    on 7 March 2011

    this book is asome!!if you don’t hav it then get off your lazy but and BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  108. bookworm597
    on 6 March 2011

    i havent read this yet but it sounds aw some

  109. chatabox01373301482
    on 4 March 2011

    This is a sad book if i read it again i would cry fo about 10 muinits

  110. Blossom24
    on 3 March 2011


    4out of 5
  111. nas231
    on 3 March 2011

    This book is great i read it in school but it is a very sad book and it was actually true i hope jill and his two sisters okay but i feel really sorry for there mum because she died.

    5out of 5
  112. HazStedman156
    on 3 March 2011

    Street Child is a great book, because it is very sad thinking about Jim Jarvis who was based on a real childs story.

    Very Emotional I give it * (5 stars)

    5out of 5
  113. trolleytroltrol1
    on 2 March 2011

    I thourghly enjoyed this book because it was sooooo adventures !!! well done Berlie doherty

    5out of 5
  114. hippo28
    on 18 February 2011


    5out of 5
  115. millymogmoo
    on 11 February 2011

    this book is great my teacherread it to our class i would 100 pesently reccomend this book by AMELIA i loved so i would give this 3 million stars.

    4out of 5