Hellie Jondoe is a story of an orphaned thirteen year-old girl and her older brother, Harry, who have learned to live on the streets by picking pockets and joining gangs. Helena Smith, who is christened with the name Hellie Jondoe by her brother, has been living in the guise of a young boy to protect herself when everything starts to change. After things go south with their current gang Harry hatches a plan for them to take the orphan train out west, but only Hellie ends up on the train. The story is filled with unlikely friendships and gives the reader a great look at what the times were like during the early 1900’s. The language seems authentic to the time, including a glossary of terms at the back with definitions, and the events of the time period are accurately portrayed. Hellie Jondoe is a great read that deals with hardships, loss, and triumphs. I highly recommend this book to those that are looking for realistic stories with happy endings.
A heart of steel can't be stolen - unless the thief is Hellie Jondoe. It's 1918. A war of nations is ending and a worldwide flu epidemic just heating up, but to thirteen-year-old Hellie, the only battle that counts is her own survival. An orphan by four, a beggar by six, Hellie - as apprentice pickpocket to her brother Harry - is now 'the best dang cannon of moveable property between Satan's Circus and Hell's Kitchen'. She's as tough as she is resourceful...on her own turf. But after a gang shootout coerces Hellie to head west on an orphan train, her plans to jump track are quickly derailed. "Landing in the Hidden Hills", a ranch outside Pendleton, Oregon, Hellie meets her match in the domineering Scholastica Gorence, an elderly ranch woman to whom she is indentured for three years. To make matters worse, Hellie becomes the unwilling caretaker of Lizzie, a nearly blind girl, and Joey, a crippled toddler. The last thing Hellie wants is a family, but she is strapped with one now. There's a time to cut and run, a time to stay and fight. Choosing which is right takes savvy, guts, and heart...all compelling Hellie to dig down deep.