Why were all the people drawn in amusement park caricature style? This felt inconsistent with both the backgrounds (very good depictions of 19th c. London) and the story. Also disappointing was how the story suddenly shifted from childhood to 'and then he was 40'. But it was a fun story including basic details available from the historical record. The author's note at the end was informative and interesting, and honest. Like some other historical fiction, this bites off a less-known slice of life and focuses on it alone.
Also, understanding the author's high interest in Dickens depends on background knowledge with his stories and plays, which a lot of kid readers won't have. It would have been nice to see more of strengthening the imaginative connections Hopkinson made between Dickens' characters and his life--those were the strong bits of historical fiction!