Ragged Dick is a fourteen-year-old bootblack. He smokes, drinks, and sleeps on the streets but wants "to turn over a new leaf, and try to grow up "'spectable". He won't steal and many gentlemen are impressed with this virtue and offer their aid.
Horatio Alger, Jr. authored about seventy books. He was the son of a clergyman, graduated from Harvard. His stories are pure, inspiring and as endearing today as they were when first published.