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Mark the Match Boy

Jr. Horatio Alger

Book Overview: 

In this third installment from the “Ragged Dick” series by Horatio Algers, Jr., the reader is reacquainted with some old friends and meets young Mark Manton. Mark is a match boy plagued by bad luck and an even worse guardian. But, with new friends, hard work, and smart choices, Mark may just find his luck taking a turn for the better.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .My business ties me to Milwaukie," he said. "I doubt if I ever return."

"Who is this young man?" said the broker, looking at Fosdick. "He is not a son of yours I think?"

"No; I am not fortunate enough to have a son. He is a young friend who wants a little business done in your line and, I have accordingly brought him to you."

"We will do our best for him. What is it?"

"He wants to purchase twenty shares in some good city bank. I used to know all about such matters when I lived in the city, but I am out of the way of such knowledge now."

"Twenty shares, you said?"

"Yes."

"It happens quite oddly that a party brought in only fifteen minutes since twenty shares in the —— Bank to dispose of. It is a good bank, and I [44] don't know that he can do any better than take them."

"Yes, it is a good bank. What interest does it pay now?"

"Eight per cent."[2]

"That is go. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Charles Dickens he's not.

These stories are simple and very linear, but they're charming. The character of Ragged Dick is so funny and likeable that you want to keep reading just to see what he'll say next. It's a fascinating look at the past. I read it on my own the first time, and now I'm reading it to the kids. They ar...more

its terrible. but it gives a glimpse of new york before the brooklyn bridge when it was more like new dehli. gives a few histories of neighborhoods, and above all a revolting and saccheriney waspish veiw of destiny

Horatio Alger is not good. What is good in this edition is the introduction by Rychard Fink. (Yes. Rychard Fink.) In it, he describes how Horatio Alger is not good, but he is important in American culture. What is more, Fink says that if you read these two, you pretty much understand all there is...more

My understanding is that Horatio Alger was the pop fiction superhero of his time: sort of a 1930s Nicholas Sparks or something.

Yeah, I'm not big on "The Notebook", either. So far this book is ubercute, ubermoral, if you've got a good heart and a strong constitution and are willing and able and h...more

These are two young adult novels published in the late 1860s, and though they are as simple and as didactic as one might expect from novels of that era, there's nothing else like them for opening a window on the life of street children in nineteenth century New York.

In the first novel, Ragged Dic...more

There's something fascinating about the total lack of nuance or ambiguity, the completely diagrammatic story of good rewarded and bad punished. And then you factor in how popular some of these books were, which means they were part of the programming, they're worth looking at.

This volume is, in some ways, the perfect encapsulation of Alger: The Phenomenon, even though it leaves out the middle book of a trilogy. It successfully bridges the early Alger's obsession with hard work with the later Alger's obsession with melodramatic inheritance. That is to say, Dick is a wa...more

The best way to indoctrinate your helpless little kids into the American Dream.

This is like a PG version of the Little Rascals. You go little guy! It makes me feel bad about blowin' my childhood cash on anything things like G.I. Joes and Big League Chew while I could have been saving money and plotting to exploit Honduran children when I got older.

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