Betsey and Loren Maxwell are on their own in early nineteenth-century England after their mother is deported to New South Wales for stealing two silver candlesticks. Faced with few options, the young Maxwells are forced to live and work in a gloomy London workhouse.
Betsey and her brother have a terrible time enduring the harsh treatment and strict rules of the workhouse overseers. Then Loren sees an opportunity to escape, and the pair soon find themselves back on the dangerous streets of London—with only a stolen pouch of money to support them. Their new life takes a disastrous turn when Betsey and Loren are jailed for pickpocketing in Tyburn Square. Betsey is terrified that she’ll never see her brother or mother again, but a visit from a kind Quaker woman named Elizabeth Fry gives her courage. Can this compassionate prison reformer save Betsey and her brother from the gallows in Tyburn Square?
Alone and in prison with no one to turn to . . .
An adventure story, ideal for readers 8-12.