Ragged Dick

Horatio Alger

Ragged Dick is Horatio Alger’s most notorious short story that helped shaped American identity and shed light on the number and severity of boys living on the street in New York.

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Full Summary:

The first of Horatio Alger’s novels features a shoeshine boy named Richard Hunter — nicknamed “Ragged Dick” because of the torn clothes he wears. He is homeless and barely scraping by, but he is also hard working and idealistic. He performs a heroic act that saves the life of a child, and the child’s father takes a serious interest in Richard’s future and guides him on the path to financial success and overall happiness in life.

Classic Excerpts

“A boy who is thrown upon his own guardianship and his own resources develops manliness and self-reliance sooner than at home.”

From The Young Adventurer

“Suddenly Andy made a spurt and forged ahead of Conrad. The young aristocrat could hardly believe his eyes when he saw Valentine’s boat, impelled by a competitor whom he had despised, take the leading place. He flushed with vexation and made a desperate effort to regain his lost position.”

From Andy Grant’s Pluck

“You must remember, my dear boy, that hard work is better than luck, and more to be relied upon. Don’t expect to make your fortune all at once by finding a big nugget, but work steadily, and you will meet with more or less success.”

From The Young Miner

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