The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts

Being an Absolutely Accurate Autobiographical Account of My Follies, Fortune, and Fate

By Avi

High adventure from a master storyteller about one boy’s attempt to fend for himself among cruel orphan masters, corrupt magistrates, and conniving thieves.

In the seaside town of Melcombe Regis, England, 1724, Oliver Cromwell Pitts wakes to find his father missing and his house flooded by a recent storm. He’s alone in his ruined home with no money and no food. Oliver’s father has left behind a barely legible waterlogged note: he’s gone to London, where Oliver’s sister, Charity, is in trouble. Exploring damage to the town in the storm’s aftermath, Oliver discovers a shipwreck on the beach. Removing anything from a wrecked ship is a hanging offense, but Oliver finds money that could save him, and he can’t resist the temptation to take it. When his crime is discovered, Oliver flees, following the trail of his father and sister. The journey is full of thieves, adventurers, and treachery--and London might be the most dangerous place of all.

In the tradition of his Newbery Honor book The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi mixes high adventure and short, page-turning chapters with a vivid historical setting featuring a cast of highwaymen, pickpockets, and villainous criminal masterminds.

Praise for Catch You Later, Traitor:

“As a mystery, historical fiction, and love letter to 1950s Brooklyn, this novel succeeds on every level.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Suspenseful . . . Authentic period details . . . add a colorful backdrop to Pete’s quest as he navigates the murky gray area between truth and fiction. An excellent introduction to the frenzy of the McCarthy era.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An involving, twisty mystery, grounded by the palpable emotional threat of Pete’s father being taken away. An accomplished historical mystery by one of kid lit’s most reliable craftspeople.” Booklist

 

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Meet the Author
Review quotes

“Colorful rogues, highwaymen and rotten magistrates populate the Dickensian plot, punctuated with clever cliff-hangers, endless close calls and bits of wisdom. Here a Newbery Medalist again delivers a page-turner, steeped in provocative moral questions.”
San Francisco Chronicle

"Brimming with fast-paced action, evocative settings, and villains, this book reveals yet another side of Avi’s talent.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review 

“An ingeniously plotted Dickensian story filled with suspense, surprises, and ultimately satisfaction. It reminds us, who may have forgotten, why reading is such high entertainment and pleasure.”
Booklist, starred review

“Riveting…This first in a new series will capture the hearts and minds of readers and history buffs alike…Avi’s examination of the plight of the desperately poor is worthy of Dickens. Impossible to put down.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Avi’s ability to write compelling historical fiction is evident here, and readers will want to stay tuned for the next installment.”
School Library Journal
Product Details
Age range
9 - 13
Grade range
4 - 8
Categories
Number of pages
304
Publication date
May 16, 2017
ISBN
9781616205645