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The Black Book of Secrets /

by Higgins, F. E.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2007Edition: 1st U.S. ed.Description: viii, 273 p. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 0312368445 :; 9780312368449.Title notes: $14.95 1-2008 (db)Subject(s): Secrecy -- Juvenile fiction | Pawnbrokers -- Juvenile fiction | Apprentices -- Juvenile fiction | Secrets -- Fiction | Pawnbrokers -- Fiction | Apprentices -- Fiction | Children's storiesOnline resources: Publisher description Summary: When Ludlow Fitch runs away from his thieving parents in the City, he meets up with the mysterious Joe Zabbidou, who calls himself a secret pawnbroker, and who takes Ludlow as an apprentice to record the confessions of the townspeople of Pagus Parvus, where resentments are many and trust is scarce.
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Children's Collection Children's Fiction J HIG Available 39270002813578

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

<p>A boy arrives at a remote village in the dead of night. His name is Ludlow Fitch--and he is running from a most terrible past. What he is about to learn is that in this village is the life he has dreamed of--a safe place to live, and a job, as the assistant to a mysterious pawnbroker who trades people's deepest, darkest secrets for cash. Ludlow's job is to neatly transcribe the confessions in an ancient leather-bound tome: The Black Book of Secrets .</p> <p>Ludlow yearns to trust his mentor, who refuses to disclose any information on his past experiences or future intentions. What the pawnbroker does not know is, in a town brimming with secrets, the most troubling may be held by his new apprentice.</p>

$14.95 1-2008 (db)

When Ludlow Fitch runs away from his thieving parents in the City, he meets up with the mysterious Joe Zabbidou, who calls himself a secret pawnbroker, and who takes Ludlow as an apprentice to record the confessions of the townspeople of Pagus Parvus, where resentments are many and trust is scarce.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

<opt> <anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">Fragment from The Memoirs of Ludlow Fitch When I opened my eyes I knew that nothing in my miserable life prior to that moment could possibly be as bad as what was about to happen. I was lying on the cold earthen floor of a basement room lit by a single candle, no more than an hour's burning left. Instruments of a medical nature hung from hooks in the beams. Dark stains on the floor suggested blood. But it was the chair against the opposite wall that fully confirmed my suspicions. Thick leather straps attached to the arms and legs were there for one purpose only: to hold down an unwilling patient. Ma and Pa were standing over me. "E's awake," crowed Ma excitedly. Pa dragged me to my feet. He had me in an iron grip, my arm wrenched up behind my back. Ma held me by the hair. I looked from one to the other. Their grinning faces were only inches away from mine. I knew I should not look to them to save me. Another man, concealed until now in the shadows, stepped forward and took me by the chin. He forced open my mouth and ran a blackened, foul-tasting finger around my gums. "How much?" asked Pa, drooling with anticipation. "Not bad," said the man. "Thrupence apiece. Maybe twelve in all." "It's a deal," said Pa. "Who needs teeth anyway?" "Someone, I hope," replied the man dryly. "I sell 'em for a living." And they laughed, all three, Ma and Pa and Barton Gumbroot, the notorious tooth surgeon of Old Goat's Alley. Once the money for my teeth was agreed with Barton, they moved quickly. Together they dragged me over to the surgeon's chair. I kicked and shouted and spat and bit; I wasn't going to make it easy for them. I knew how Barton Gumbroot made his living, preying on the poor, pulling their teeth, paying them pennies and selling them for ten times as much. I was racked with fear. I had no protection. I was going to feel it all. Every single nerve-stabbing twinge. They came close to succeeding in their evil quest. Excerpted from The Black Book of Secrets by F. E. Higgins All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon> </opt>

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Horn Book Review

(Intermediate, Middle School) After his own parents try to sell his teeth (right out of his mouth!) for cash, Ludlow Fitch runs away. Apprenticed almost at once to the charismatic and eccentric Joe Zabbidou, Ludlow begins to learn his new trade as a pawnbroker of secrets. In passages alternating between Ludlow's memoirs and third-person accounts, the reader learns that Joe pays the villagers of Pagus Parvus for secrets they don't want to keep anymore, confessions Ludlow then writes in the Black Book of Secrets. The cash Joe advances gets the villagers out from under the usurious thumb of first citizen Jeremiah Ratchet, whose ruinous effects on the village are slowly revealed in the Black Book. But when Joe refuses to "do something" about Ratchet -- his rule is never to interfere in the course of things -- the frustrated Pagus Parvians begin to turn their anger on Joe. The resolution, as tidy a piece of plotting as can be imagined, not only collects all the plot threads but leads to the deeper revelation of who Joe is and why he plies such a curious trade. Strongly seasoned with details of nineteenth-century oddities, the story abounds with puzzles, quirks, and enticing disclosures. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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