Kim by Rudyard Kipling
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Kimball "Kim" O'hara, orphaned son of a poor Irish soldier and his wife, spends his days in Lahore scraping a living together by running errands for local merchants. One of his clients, a horse trader by the name of Mahbub Ali, is secretly a member of the British intelligence.
Despite his white skin, Kim's ability to blend into the local environment is seen as an asset by Ali, who enlists the boy as a spy for the crown. At the same time, Kim's interest in helping a Tibetan lama fulfill a quest broadens the youth's horizons, and acts as the perfect cover for Kim to complete his missions.
Though perhaps better known for other works, Kim is considered Kipling's masterpiece, and is referred to as "the apotheosis of the Victorian cult of childhood."