The worms will be discussing Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The story centers on orphan Oliver Twist, born in a workhouse and sold into apprenticeship with an undertaker. After escaping, Oliver travels to London, where he meets the "Artful Dodger", a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal Fagin. Oliver Twist contains an unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives, and exposes the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London in the mid-19th century.
In this early example of the social novel, Dickens satirizes the hypocrisies of his time, including child labor, domestic violence, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children. It is likely that Dickens's own experiences as a youth contributed to the story.