Harry Mazer Cave Under the City

ISBN 13: 9780064403030

Cave Under the City

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9780064403030: Cave Under the City

With their mother in the hospital and their father's whereabouts unknown, two boys take to the streets of New York to escape being sent to a children's shelter.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8 In this gripping story set in the Bronx during the Depression, Tolley (about 12) and his brother, Bubber (about 6), are thrust into an odyssey of survival when their father has to leave town to seek work and their mother and grandmother are both too ill to care for them. Rather than be separated or sent to a children's shelter, the two flee to the streets where they are forced to take care of themselves through wit, endurance, and often painful compromise of their values. When Tolley becomes ill, Bubber leads him home, where they find that their father has returned and the brothers can resume their old lives. But they are not the same boys: each has had his character honed by the experience. Bubber has become a quiet realist, accepting loss while retaining hope. Tolley has become angry at the grownup world, and at his father in particular. Although filled with sharply detailed incident, the book is more character and atmosphere than plot, and hence, concentrating as it does on the changes in Tolley and Bubber, seems to stop rather than end. While occasionally relentless in its portrayals of the boys' struggle, this is compelling and well told in Tolley's believably adolescent voice, resulting in a harsh but credible story with some resonances of the plight of today's homeless. Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Mazer's perfect dialogue and intimacy with New York's vast boroughs provide the foundation for another of his riveting novels. Tolley Holtz tells what happens during the Depression when his father leaves the family apartment in the Bronx to look for work in Baltimore. Later, when their mother has to be hospitalized, Tolley takes charge of his five-year-old brother Bubba, who refuses to go into an orphanage, as the authorities insist. Tolley and Bubba are starving and homeless until they find shelter in "the cave," a cellar under a burned-out restaurant. The hourly perils and narrow escapes affect the reader intensely, particularly when the boys watch animals feeding at the zoo, when Tolley dreams about his mother's cooking, and when Bubba feels guilty because he eats bits of food that he knows Tolley has swiped. There is welcome humor punctuating the brothers' fight for survival in a story that stands out as a testament to love and endurance.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Harry Mazer
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Harry Mazer
Published by Harpercollins (1986)
ISBN 10: 0064403033 ISBN 13: 9780064403030
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