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1001 Stories Collection

The Family from One End Street

1001 The Familyfrom One End Street
Added on 06th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Eve Garnett
First published 1937
Publisher Frederick Muller, UK

The every day adventures of the seven Ruggles children, growing up in 1930s London - the first urban, working class heroes of children's fiction.

Story

The Ruggles are a big, noisy family with seven interesting children: Lily Rose, Kate, James, John, Jo, Peg, and William. Their parents, Mr and Mrs Ruggles, work hard as a dustman and washerwomen to take care of their family. Whilst they may not be a rich family, the lively children have many varied adventures involving winning scholarships, doing good deeds, and the activities of the Black Hand gang.

Why we chose it

This was the first book with urban, working class children as its heroes – and for many years was the only book about working class children.

Where it came from

The Family from One End Street was born from author and artist Eve Garnett’s (1900 – 1991) eye-opening experiences of the poverty in London. Coming from a middle-class family, she trained as an artist in London in the 1920s and there observed the day to day realities of working class children. Initially publishers were reluctant to publish the book, saying the content was unsuitable and in recent years it has been accused of being condescending rather than ground breaking but her close observation of the children she used to draw in the street makes the children of her story lively, full of character and very real – and a generation of working class children got to see the world they were growing up in portrayed in print.

Where it went next

The Family from One End Street defied the odds and went on to win the Carnegie Medal in 1937.

Associated stories

The Family from One End Street was the first book in the One End Street series, and was followed by The Further Adventures of the Family from One End Street (1956), and Holiday at Dew Drop Inn (1962).

Added on 06th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Eve Garnett
First published 1937
Publisher Frederick Muller, UK