Tom Slade Boy Scout
Fitzhugh's purpose in writing it, at least initially, was to advertise a new organization called the Boy Scouts of America, and to encourage boys to join it.
In the Spring 2000 issue of “The Mystery and Adventure Series Review,” David M. Baumann published a great 13-page review of the entire Tom Slade series.
Here is an excerpt from Baumann's review:
Tom Slade, Boy Scout introduces us to Tom Slade, a hoodlum in Barrel Alley, the slum area of Bridgeboro, New Jersey. The standard PKF Boy Scout characters are also first seen here—those who, due to the popularity of these early Tom Slade books, became stars in their own series five to nine years later, as mentioned above.
The entry on Fitzhugh in Something About the Author suggests that Tom was “like Huck Finn.” It is a good description. Yet in the first book joining the Boy Scouts brings out his innate goodness. With right tutelage and opportunity, Tom turns into a fine young man and even hero. He becomes completely committed to Scouting and the virtues Scouting inspires. It is no wonder that the BSA was pleased with this opening story.
Now this was great news to Tom. He knew he was no gentleman; Mrs. Bennett had told him that. He knew he was a hoodlum; the trolley conductors had told him that. He knew that he was lazy and shiftless and unkempt and a number of other things, for the world at large had made no bones of telling him so; but never, never for one moment had he supposed that he was no sport. He had always believed that to hit a person with a stone and "get away with it" represented the very top-notch of fun and sporting proficiency.
A little way up the hill the boy suddenly turned and stood waiting for him. Tom was hardly less than amazed at this for he had thought that his pursuit was not known. When they came face to face Tom saw that it was none other than the “half-baked galook” Roy Blakeley.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Percy Keese Fitzhugh was an American author of nearly 100 books for children and young adults. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He married Harriet (Hatti) Lloyd LePorte on July 13, 1900 in Kingston, Massachusetts. Bibliography »
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