2006, Farrar Straus Giroux
My name is Jack, but it wasn't always. I've had so many names I can't even remember them all. Some names were good, some were bad. Some I don't like to remember. But I like the name Jack just fine. It's the one Luke gave me, and he's my best friend.
More minor quibbles:
It can be a bit preachy and folksey:
Pg 1 - "I was giving up hope, which is about the worst thing you can do. Hope is everything."
Pg. 114 - "Truth is, a fellow doesn't need a whole lot to make him happy. A place to bed down, warm food in his belly, honest work, good company."
Language like "There was still a lot of hope left in this kid. He had to have some folks, that's all." is increasingly common in children's books. I'm not very enthusiastic about it, but that's just a personal dislike.
This book is intensely old-fashioned, more along the lines of the The Boxcar Children or Depression-era tales than a modern story. There is an orphanage, a crude dog pound, a broadly painted evil circus with vile low-class men who beat dogs to death. There is even the highly requisite train sequence where a boy flirts with disaster on a railroad track. Tonally, there is that desperate poverty emphasis on hope and dreams, and the sense that running away is the only solution to a bad situation because staying to fight would be too costly and dangerous. If this were a period piece, it would make more sense. Interestingly, one interview I found online quotes