Workhouse Orphan by Maggie Cobbett
At the dawn of the 20th century a London workhouse master escorts a group of boys barely in their teens onto a train bound for the West Riding of Yorkshire. On arrival, they are to be lodged with complete strangers and set to work in the coal industry.
Although dreading his first shift underground, David Dawson’s main worry is that he might never again see Robert, Albert and Minnie, the younger siblings that he has been forced to leave behind. Their fates, like those of all workhouse children, are in the hands of the Board of Guardians and scant regard is given to family ties.
As he gets to grips with the exhausting work, the almost incomprehensible speech of those around him and the hostility of some of the other pit boys, David tries to come up with a plan to reunite the four of them before it is too late and they are parted for ever. An early attempt almost leads to catastrophe for the kindly people who have taken him into their home, but tragedy and an unconventional friendship set in motion the chain of events that will make his dream come true.
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