Embarrassed by his grimy appearance in the presence of an immaculate little girl, ten-year-old Tom—an ill-treated London chimney-sweep—promptly runs away. Diving into a river, he enters a magical underwater world where he meets wee creatures of the deep, and learns about goodness, fairness, and "right and wrong." Young readers will find themselves anticipating with pleasure the frequent appearances of such enchanting characters as Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby, a fairy queen who takes many forms in the course of the tale. Charles Kingsley's story of the virtues of good conduct and useful living was one of the English clergyman's many tales that were meant to draw attention to the evils of nineteenth-century life—among them, enforced child labor. From its poignant look at a young sweep's grim life to its intriguing philosophy on the nature of fairies, the book can be read and re-read from childhood to old age. Immensely popular when first published in book form in 1863—it was originally serialized—this beloved classic will captivate today's readers as much as it stirred imaginations well over a century ago.