Available: Paperback, Kindle, hard copy
Fourteen-year-old Carver Young lives at the Ellis Orphanage in New York. The year is 1895. Like most orphans, he's obsessed with his past. Who were his real parents? Why did they abandon him? Determined to find the answers to these questions, he breaks into the locked record room only to discover an important clue to his past. But is it enough for him to locate his real father? To complicate his life even further, Miss Petty announces that the orphanage is tobe relocated to the country and that the board has decided that the "orphanage can no longer house residents past age thirteen." To Carver's surprise, he is taken under the wing of a famous semi-retired Pinkerton detective who not only sees potential in Carver, but agrees to help Carver find his real father. At the same time there's a killer loose in the city. A killer whose crimes seem a lot like those of Jack the Ripper. While searching for his dad, he seems drawn into the murder cases as well. As he gets closer, the stakes are raised higher and higher.
This was a fantastic read. I could hardly put it down. Although the clues strongly suggest one obvious conclusion, there are numerous unexpected and delightful surprises sprinkled as Carver's quest unravels. Lots of action. Lots of danger. Lots of intrigue. All told through the eyes of Carver in his unique voice. I highly recommend this book.
Target audience: grades 7-10
Mystery /suspense: Excellent
Kid appeal: High