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  • By milo larsen
    Jul 20, 2013
    Erica Lovett's Reviews > Ward of the State Want to Read Ward of the State by Milo Larsen (Goodreads Author) 5 of 5 stars Read in April, 2013 “Ward of the State” is an engrossing novel that starts in the 1940s, focusing on young Tom Packard, who is twelve when the novel begins. He’s already had a difficult life—his mother is dead, and he lives with his aunt—and when he returns from the library one day to find her lying dead in her bed, he becomes a ward of the state and is taken to a reform school, despite the fact that he’s not done anything to be considered a delinquent. Though he’s told his father is dead, Tom doesn’t believe it, and he holds on to that belief despite the hardships of the reform school—the abusive placements he suffers to help Mrs. Fogarty and her “projects,” the bullying Mr. Landry, and the deceptive Mr. Hutchins. Along the way he meets a few kind souls, and while his experiences could push him into becoming a true delinquent, he instead maintains his character... More > and dignity, fighting when he has to and standing strong when he does not. This novel did an excellent job of evoking the feel of a reform school in the era, with a colorful range of Dickens-esque characters and a likeable main character who the reader becomes very engaged in. I wanted Tom to find happiness and discover if his father was alive; his refusal to be defeated by his circumstances made him a compelling character, especially in light of what he discovers about his mother and her character. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy historical novels, readers who enjoy Mark Twain (stories about boys overcoming odds through their own strong characters, and learning lessons along the way), and readers who enjoy character-driven novels.< Less
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Product Details

First edition
Milo DeForest Larsen
April 24, 2009
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.85 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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