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These are the children who live on the streets of Cape Town begging, bedding down where they can and trying to survive. The book vividly presents the lives of Johnny and the rest of his group, particularly in the use of their slang and the detail of their lives. This nightmarish life is dramatically created, often in scenes at night, but the abiding quality of the book is the strength of the bonds between the children, nicely enacted in the scene where Johnny is rescued from police custody by a wonderful assortment of 'brothers' and friends.