Asphalt Angels

A raw, poignant story of a band of Brazilian street kids who survive — if they can — by their wits alone. Asphalt Angels centers around a boy named Alex, a street child of 13 in Brazil who has been kicked onto the city streets by his stepfather after his mother dies. He is alone and scared. This is the story of how he adapts to life in the streets with a group of other children. Hazards are everywhere: drug-dealing, theft, glue-sniffing, harassment, brutality, even murder. It is not easy steering clear of them, yet Alex manages to survive, eventually making a home with 14 other boys in a house, working in an office, and attending evening school. This story grew from the real-life drama the author observed while on assignment. In an afterword, she reports that some 10,000 children sleep in Rio’s streets, and many more roam them by day, victims of inadequate nutrition, education, and shelter, and prey to drugs and violence. Alex does exist, but under another name.

Related: Brazil, Intermediate (ages 9-14), Realistic Fiction

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