A Bandit’s Tale

The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

Read or Listen to this book in Granite’s OverDrive Digital Library

Written by Deborah Hopkinson

Rocco Zaccaro is a 13-year-old pickpocket living in New York City in 1887. He was born in Italy but is sent to America as an indentured servant so his family can survive in his impoverished home town. He is forced to live in horrible conditions and beg for money on the streets of New York. His “Padrone” is cruel and vicious to the young boys in his care so Rocco eventually plans his escape to find his own way in life. This book is based on actual historical accounts of what occurred in Little Italy ( a part of inner-city New York) in the late 1800s. It is both fascinating and heart-breaking to think of how poverty-stricken children were treated like chattel and so easily shunned and discarded by society. It is also interesting to see how the movement for the rights of children and animals actually came into being.

I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it for ages 10 and up.

Review by Lynda H. Wilson, David Gourley Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: 5th grade and Up

A Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket
Written by Deborah Hopkinson
Knopf Books for Young Readers
290 pages
Release Date: April 5, 2016

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