The Traitors Gate


Author/Books Statistics

The Author of this book, Edward Irving Wortis, or better known by his pen name Avi, is a well known American writer. All of his over 60 works are targeted at either children or young adult and is the winner of the Newberry Medal and twice one of the runners-up. The Traitors’ Gate is one of his young adult targeted books. Being published in 2007, the Traitors’ Gate is a historic fiction based in 1849 London. It mentions many historical concepts, including the actual Traitors Gate in London. This gate is where all criminals had to go through. It also has a very interesting story. Lets take an in depth look into this best-selling authors novel.

Basic Summary

John Hoffman is our main character. The author based this character off the childhood of one Charles Dickens, his favorite writer. He is 14 in the year 1849, and his father has just been sent to Whitecross Street Prison in London for debt. His father is $300 in debt to a Mr.O’Doul. Through the book, John Hoffman is trying to clear his fathers name and find out who this Mr.O’Doul is.John’s family goes to live in debtors’ prison. John goes to work at a church that Mr. Nottingham assigned for him. He keeps being revisited by the mysterious Inspector Copperfield. This inspector is a historical reference to a Charles Dickens book by the name of David Copperfield. Then Toward the end of the book John goes to meet his father in jail and his father finally tells him everything. This is the basis of what he told him:Mr. Huffam gambled and owed many men, but he didn’t owe anyone three hundred pounds.

What happened was someone bought all of the debts, so Mr. O’Doul claimed Mr. Huffam owed him three hundred pounds. Mr. Huffam, while working somehow came up with a plan that would allow England to shoot accurately from a long distance. That way, in war, other countries couldn’t harm England’s armies, but they could harm them. That made the plan very valuable.

He decided that if he sold the plan, he would have enough money to get out of prison. But he would be a traitor. So, he gave them false information. The government found out about Mr. Huffman's “game,” but kept quiet about it. Because whoever wanted to buy the false plan, must be a spy. It would be the perfect trap to catch spies. There were three men who wanted to buy the plan: Mr. O’Doul (from Ireland), Mr. Farquatt (from France), and Sergeant Muldspoon (from Russia). But, how did they have the money to buy it? There was still someone behind it all…

Inspector Copperfield turned out to be Mr. Nottingham. He was trying to make John falter so that Lady Euphemia Huffam would disapprove of him and Mr. Nottingham would get all the inheritance. And after this John told the government about the spies. So the government wanted to reward John for figuring out the spies, so they got their three hundred pounds and were released from jail.


Overall, this book had a roller coaster of a story line. At first i had my doubts,but after reading the first chapter, I was hooked! Its filled with twists and turns, mystery, and excitement! I would definitely recommend this book to other people. This book will leave you begging for more.


"For I ,at least, will not be a traitor. Not to her." This quote from the story is important because it shows the main character's loyalty to Sally.
"By the end of this week," said my father,as if speaking of a change in weather, " there's a possibility I shall be sent to prison." This beginning statement pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book and is one of my favorite lines. I find it both comical and interesting at the same time.
"Traitors! Spies! Scotland Yard! All Connected to my Father!" At this point in the story, John discovers that his father isn't the man he thought he was.