Lively, mysterious, melancholy and sharp as the pickles young Joe
buys from Dilly Lepkoff on the street, Brooklyn Bridge
young readers to the dangerous, exhilarating and often tragic world of
turn-of-the-century New York.
It is ironic that the American invention of the Teddy Bear, symbol of compassion
and comforter of countless children, inspired this historical novel of light and
dark, and fortunate and unfortunate children. Young Joseph Michtom, son of bear
inventor Morris Michtom, narrates the first of the novel's triadic stories.
Joseph's is the story of light, luck, love, family and possibility. The second
narrative, delivered via a disembodied third person, voices the histories of a
band of homeless, often brutalized and damaged children who live in misery under
the Brooklyn Bridge. As counterpoint to the street children's...
Beyond the Book
Teddy Bears, Luna Park, and Helping Homeless Children
The Invention of the Teddy Bear
You can learn about the invention of the American Teddy Bear (Richard
Steiff invented a soft toy bear in Germany independently in the same year.) and
see Clifford Berryman's political cartoon that inspired it by visiting the
Teddy Bears and Friends Website.
Spectacular and dreamlike, Luna Park illuminates Brooklyn Bridge
History of Amusement Parks website contains fantastic pictures of the rides,
especially the ride to the moon described in the novel, the promenades, the
lights, the animals. A visit to this site is a must after reading this novel.