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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations


*****The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

by Avi

Reviewed June 1, 2002.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2002 (#1, Young Adult Historical Rereads)
Avon Books, 1990.  232 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF AVI)

I first bought this book at a Scholastic Book Fair and ended up spending the rest of the morning (and into the afternoon) reading it.  Then I gave it to several of my best friends for Christmas.  The cover makes it look like a fairly tame girl’s story--It pictures a girl in old-fashioned clothes on the deck of a ship.  The story is not tame at all!

I just finished reading this book, chapter by chapter, to my boys at bedtime.  I figured they wouldn’t read a book with such a cover on their own.  Both of them gave the impression of enjoying it thoroughly.  I know that I enjoyed re-reading it.  And, yes, I couldn’t resist.  When I was about halfway through reading it to them, I couldn’t stop and finished the book to myself while they were in bed.

It’s hard to tell much about the story without revealing too much, although the narrator, Charlotte Doyle, does give away quite a bit in her first sentence.  As you read on, you don’t quite believe that she was telling the truth.  What starts out as an innocent school girl taking an ocean voyage ends up being a tale of mutiny and murder on the high seas.  A gripping and exciting book.

I’m not sure which book won the Newbery Medal the year that this book won a Newbery Honor Award, but it better have been good!  This is a magnificent adventure tale, one of the best you could hope to find.

Other books by Avi:
Crispin:  The Cross of Lead
Strange Happenings
The End of the Beginning
Don't You Know There's a War On?

Reader comment:  Stephene gives this books 5 stars, with the comment:  "I loved this book.  It is a must read for all young women!

Another reader gives the book 5 stars.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved. 
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