Two babies abandoned at birth—one grows up in a life of privilege, the other in poverty.
On the 12th of September, 1981, twin boys are born in a Brasilian hospital and left to their fate as orphans. Jose is adopted by a couple who takes him to England, but the other isn’t so lucky. Pedro ends up on the streets of Rio, left to fend for himself in a harsh and unforgiving world.
Love and betrayal.
Twelve years later Jose’s family returns to Brasil, where he learns the truth about his adoption and his twin. Thinking his adoptive parents no longer want him, he runs away to find his brother. What follows will shake Jose to the core and shape the rest of his life—if he can survive.
Jose isn’t the only one whose life will change. Pedro is offered an opportunity beyond any of his wildest dreams, but to keep it will mean the betrayal of someone he loves. This proves to be a far greater challenge than he anticipated when the orphan finds himself suddenly surrounded by family who, unfortunately, don’t all have good intentions.
Hopes and dreams.
A Boy from the Streets will tug at your heart-strings and have you rooting for the little guy as you follow the twists and turns this multi-continental tale takes.
“Leandro, you and Carolina must leave now.”
“Carolina is in labour. She cannot be moved.”
“As soon as she has birthed the baby, you will both leave.”
“The baby will be too young to be moved so soon.”
“You will leave it behind. It will be cared for.”
“We cannot countenance such an action.”
“You have no choice.”
“There is always a choice.”
“Alright, Leandro, then your choice is this: take your wife and leave the child in my care, or stay, and you will all die.”
The Professor’s eyebrows drew together, the quivering dark hairs touching before his face relaxed and they returned to their normal resting place. “Promise me you will take care of my child until I can come back.”
“You have my solemn promise, Leandro. I will care for your child until you can return with Carolina. The baby will, after all, be my niece or nephew.”
Warm air brushed against his skin, and yet, Leandro still shivered. Trusting his brother was not easy, for theirs had never been a close relationship, but blood ties were strong.
The Professor slipped away and met with his colleague. “I must leave my child behind, Daniel.”
“Who will care for the child?”
Daniel’s quick intake of breath coupled with his expression showed his distaste.
“I know, my friend, but I can trust my brother with this.”
“As you please, Leandro. May God go with you and Carolina.”
“What will you do?”
“I cannot leave my beloved Rio, so I shall take to the streets. I will live on the fringes of society, unnoticed and unimportant.”
“But you are important, my friend, we both are. We have stumbled on the biggest—”
“Shush, you mustn’t say anything else.” Daniel looked around but the only witness to their conversation was the bright-coloured mural decorating the side of the building. An image of a boy stared down at them with an expression that told of the misery he had endured.
“You’re right. God go with you, Daniel Cortez.”
Both men clasped the other in a bear hug, a symbol of their solidarity. Neither was ashamed of the tear that welled in their eyes, and neither turned back to watch the other walk away.
They were left behind out of love, newborn twin boys who already possess that special bond only a twin can understand. The cruelty of Fate separated them, one to grow up in the lap of a safe and loving environment an ocean away from his brother, left behind to survive the brutality of the corrupt Brazilian system that forces young children into the streets as fodder for the ugliest side of life, a side where even the law represents a monster of epic proportions.
Jose was taken to England, raised for twelve years and has now journeyed to Brazil with his parents and into a world of hidden truths ad a revelation that will finally complete his soul.
Pedro was a ward of the state until he became too much of a burden and forced to live on the streets, scrounging for scraps, becoming a thief in order to survive, all while being the puppet of a vile and corrupt police system. It was a matter of circumstance and an act of Fate that Jose would decide to find the brother he never knew. Their broken bond would be repaired, but not until Pedro and Jose trade places and they each understand what could have been their fate if only…
This isn’t a story of jealousy or even what ifs, this is a tale of missing pieces, love and finally feeling complete while being willing to do whatever is necessary to protect one another. It is the tale of the strength of one boy and the devotion of another to never be separated again. as their lives finally converge and their futures, as well as the futures of others are forever changed.
Wrapped around this tale is the “why” of their separation. Understand it or not, agree or not, without this “wrapper,” Jose and Pedro’s story could never be told, their bond tested and their futures changed forever.
If you have a heart, A BOY FROM THE STREETS is going to wring every last drop of emotion from it, so be prepared for feelings overload. Double that if you have or know or have ever been a child. Maria Gibbs has created an emotional time bomb that does not go off in a huge explosion, but slowly burrows into your conscience and even your very soul as you cannot avoid putting yourself into this tale and feel every single word that comes off the pages.
So, I would imagine you have noticed I allowed the lines between reality and fiction to blur, perhaps it is a Mom of twins thing or a Grandma of twins thing, could be, I am both. When an author can achieve that blur and gain that emotional investment, they have done their job!
This novel has received a Chill with a Book Readers Award
What a brilliant read.
This is an absolutely amazing story. I loved it and am sure it will be a best seller.
Superbly written, Characters so well described that you think you have known them all your life.
Founder of Chill with a Book Awards
If you’re a fan of realistic characters and stories that pack a punch, this is for you. Highly Recommended.
When two twin boys are abandoned you really are gripped to find out if they are going to be okay, only to be heartbroken to learn they are then separated.
What I loved about this book was the level of research the author had clearly done to make this work of fiction feel so real. The emotions throughout are a true testament to how talented Maria Gibbs is as a writer. She has a great way of pulling you into the story and gripping you tight until the very last page.
I can’t wait for the next book Maria releases, they just keep getting better and better.
At first blush, it seems to be a modern take on “The Prince and the Pauper.” Without giving away too much of the plot, Pedro and Jose are separated at birth. One boy is adopted by wealthy parents while the other is discarded like so much trash. Years later, they’re reunited, and that’s about where the similarities end with, “The Prince and the Pauper.”
Every time I thought I had this book figured out, it twisted. I lost sleep reading well into the night. I picked it up again when I woke. I spent an hour choking back tears while my husband looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. My poor dog brought me his favorite toy to comfort me. Still, I continued reading to the bittersweet ending.
I absolutely loved it! I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves a well-written tale. The descriptions are beautifully done, and the story speaks to the endurance of the human spirit. Brava to Ms. Gibbs. She’s quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite
Here’s the truth. I struggled with this book—struggled to put it down! By the end, I had a book hangover after reading so much at once.
The beginning was a little disjointed as the author flipped between points of view quickly, providing snippets of information that didn’t seem to go together. But that’s when the fun of solving the mystery kicked in. You have to keep reading to make sense of it all, and little by little the characters and info start to meld together and form an intriguing story.
I always say I want to read books that make me feel something. To say that I felt something reading this book is an understatement. Already a fan of Maria Gibbs, this one exceeded all my expectations, which were already high. Do I recommend it? Oh yeah!
As the novel travels from Brazil to England, and back, it unravels the secrets of the past, and the difficulties of the present. Ultimately, ‘A Boy from the Streets’ is a great ‘feel good’ read, showing us that we can persist against all odds, even the death of loved ones.
When facing insurmountable odds, the novel brings out a fairy tale of hope, and we want the characters to succeed. We follow them through their hardships and strong emotions. The book also touches on some of the hardships facing the Brazilian nation.
From the moment you start reading, this book draws you in. A real page turner & difficult to put down. Each chapter is told from a different year or by a different character but it works and flows. I have read Maria’s other books and love them all but this is the best so far!
Twin boys were separated at birth—José lived in London in the lap of luxury with rich parents while Pedro lived on the streets of Brazil, an urchin, starving, forced to pickpocket and steal to eat every few days. He doesn’t know what TV is, and has never taken a shower or a bath, and has never used soap. Fate brings them together in Brazil where they switch places because José is ill and thinks his adoptive parents are going to find Pedro, take him, and leave José there. But their true identities are exposed, due to José’s illness. They soon discover who their real parents are, in a plot rich with twists and exposure to the underworld and corruption. A riveting drama that vividly portrays the strife of urchins at the mercy of the corrupt police who, instead of protecting children, exterminate them to keep them out of the way of tourists. An eye-opening exposé, and a lesson in love, through the eyes of two young boys.
This is one of those books that I just couldn’t put down! I bought it late afternoon yesterday and I’m (almost sorry to say) I’m finished it already! I read the “Look Inside” section before I bought it and that did it – I was hooked.
Well written, great transition between chapters, well edited. I liked the Glossary of the Portuguese words at the end.
Without a doubt, Pedro stole my heart but all the characters have a strong identity.
Definitely a book worth reading!
Like two sides of a coin, life for the twins abandoned at birth is very different. The scales are not balanced., 30 Mar. 2017
By English Rose
This review is from: A boy from the Streets (Paperback)
Right from the very beginning this story packs a punch, and we learn very quickly of the terrible fate that leads to the abandonment of twin boys. As if this is not heart-breaking enough we then discover fate has worse in store for them, as they become separated. One adopted and taken to England the other left in Brasil to become a Street Child.
This novel will most definitely tug on your heart-strings so have your tissues to hand. The urban drama is told from several points of view those of the unfortunate twins, their biological parents, and their adoptive parents and friends. Some may find it a little confusing at times but bare with it the author is giving us the life experiences of all involved and it is a truly moving story. As you read on you will be drawn in and simply have to keep turning the pages to find out what is happening to everyone involved.
Very Highly recommended
Leandro and Carolina have just had twins but fate has dealt them an ugly hand and they are forced to leave their children in the hospital as it is too dangerous for them to keep them. Jose is adopted by an English couple, Fernando and Christina, while Pedro is left in an orphanage and abandoned.
When Fernando and Christina bring Jose back to Brasil 12 years later will they be able to find his twin, Pedro? Will the past be explained and how does the past link up to the present circumstances revolving around everyone?
I enjoyed this book and how everything came together in totally different ways than what you thought was going to happen. There were definitely a few things that I was not expecting and a couple of times I had to go over in my mind the different characters as I was confused with the names.
It was interesting to see the reasons that Jose created in his mind about why they were back in Brasil looking for his twin and it made me sad to see what Jose thought. I really liked both Pedro and Jose and both have had their respective struggles.
I think one thing that shocked me a little was remembering that they were only 12 years old in the book as many times I felt like they were so much older than that with everything that they had gone through and were going through.
The way everything was tied together was so interesting but I really would have liked to know more about the police officer Martinez and what was really behind all of his cruel actions from the beginning of the book to the end. I understood all of the tie ins but why was he this way?
I was definitely mad at Teo at the end for turning on everyone just because he was mad at the past and the ghosts of the past. I saw what was coming and I was surprised that Teo thought better.
The ending was both sad and happy. I was sad for everyone that lost their life through the book but I was happy with the new beginnings that Jose, Pedro and Carlos received!
Two innocent brothers are brought up in the different worlds of upper-class England, and the slums of Brasil. Bigger plots arise when the boys finally find each other, and it is a challenge to get out alive.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this, it’s a prince and pauper tale, set mainly in 1990’s Brasil. It doesn’t seem so long ago, and it’s hard to believe how callous the country is to its abandoned children.
The real strength of this book is how it takes you on a tour of the life of the pivetinhos (street children). It balances perfectly the brutality of the abuse, danger and sense of it all being inescapable; but never overwhelms the rest of the story wth it.
There are several mysteries playing out, concerning young Jose and Pedro. Mainly keeping you guessing about the manner of Jose’s illness, and whether his unloving English father will go through with his plan to swap him for a “stronger model”, correcting the mistake that his loving mamae made years ago.
Then there is the mystery of their birth parents – of why they had to flee Brasil, and what will happen if they are reunited. Will the English couple who have been devoted to Jose for all of his life, lose him to people that are technically strangers?
I really wasn’t keen on The Exiles’ sections. Leandro and Christina have escaped to England, but are desperate to get back and find their children.
I know the situation is fraught with danger, but I found it hard to believe that they would let 12 years pass before making their move. (When they arrive, it seems just as dangerous, if not more so.)
The passages of them in England in particular were brief and repetitive. I had the feeling that they were put in to increase suspense of Jose and Pedro’s story (you know when you’re watching a really good programme, and then the adverts come on, just as you were about to find out who the murderer was…).
The passages don’t do anything, except establish what we already know.
Pedro and Jose are great for the most part, but I did feel that they came across as much more mature in certain sections.
Finally, there were some formatting issues, but I had an ARC, so they may not be an issue anymore.
I would definitely recommend this Brasilian adventure!