Cover image for The journey of little Charlie
Title:
The journey of little Charlie
Title:
The journey of little Charlie
Edition:
First edition.
Publisher Info:
New York : Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., [2018]
Physical Description:
234 pages ; 22 cm
Abstract:
When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap'n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him; Cap'n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father's debt will be cleared when the fugitives are captured, which seems like a good deal until Little Charlie comes face-to-face with the people he is chasing.

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Summary

Summary

The National Book Award finalist by Christopher Paul Curtis!

Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His sharecropper father just died and Cap'n Buck -- the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, South Carolina -- has come to collect a debt. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal with Cap'n Buck and agrees to track down some folks accused of stealing from the cap'n and his boss. It's not too bad of a bargain for Charlie... until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers their true identities. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure out his next move -- and soon. It's only a matter of time before Cap'n Buck catches on.

Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to this story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history's cruelest evils.


Author Notes

Newbery Medal-winning children's book author Christopher Paul Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan on May 10, 1953 and graduated from The University of Michigan. While there he won the Avery and Jules Hopwood Prizes for poetry and a draft of one of his early books. Curtis spent thirteen years on an assembly line hanging car doors.

His story The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 received a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor, and Bud, Not Buddy became the first novel to win both of these awards. Elijah of Buxton received the 2008 Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, and a Newbery Honor. Curtis also won the 2009 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-When strangers initially meet six-foot, four-inch Little Charlie Bobo, they often mistake the 12-year-old boy for a man. After his father's death in an accident in the summer of 1858, Charlie finds himself facing adult responsibilities and decisions. When the devious, heartless Cap'n Buck arrives on Charlie's doorstep demanding repayment of a 50-dollar loan, the youth agrees to the man's offer: accompany him from South Carol-liney to Detroit and Canada to recapture thieves-former slaves of Massa Tanner. During their journey, the wool lifts from Charlie's eyes and his ever-pondering mind begins working overtime to see past the lies he'd been taught and to right a terrible wrong. Narrator Michael Crouch superbly tackles the difficult dialect, Charlie's pendulum of emotions, and the pompous, slimy Cap'n Buck. Curtis's young protagonist will sow the seed of courage in listeners with this heart-wrenching, and at times gut-wrenching, reminder that we must learn from history. VERDICT A "gay-run-teed" great listen and top pick.-Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City School District, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Crouch's facility with character voices gives color and atmosphere to this tale of a Southern white country boy forced to help an evil overseer track down a runaway slave family. Charlie is a simple, naive, uneducated boy who only knows farming, but when his father dies in 1858, cruel Cap'n Buck insists on his help as payment for his father's debts. Charlie comes to sympathize with the slave family he is pursuing and must make a choice whether to help them, at great risk to himself. Crouch reads Charlie with just enough of a folksy Southern twang to make lines like "If you was to ax me afore I seent what happened to Pap, I never would've thought time could slow down in the way it done" sound natural, while not making the accent so thick that children would have trouble understanding it. His Cap'n Buck has a monstrous, growling voice, while the runaway slave woman is dignified and fierce in her righteous defiance, and her son Sylvanus, who attends a boarding school, has an educated, intellectual tone. Crouch brings the characters to life, making this adventure novel all the more entertaining. Ages 9-12. A Scholastic Press hardcover. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Little Charlie Bobo, 12, is not so little in fact, he's big enough that the cruel plantation overseer, Cap'n Buck, forces him, in lieu of paying a family debt, to join him traveling from South Carol-liney all the way to Dee-troit to collar a gang of thieves who stole from Buck's boss. Readers may guess it before Bobo figures it out: the thieves are enslaved people who escaped to Canada's freedom, and what they stole was themselves. In this third volume of Curtis' celebrated Buxton Chronicles, the focus is on penniless, white Charlie, who must come to terms with the job for which he's been drafted and hopefully orient his moral compass. It's a daring gambit that pays off: Charlie's emotions swing from initial fear to later excitement to eventual dread. The subject matter can be brutal Bobo speaks somewhat graphically of torture and killing but Curtis is unafraid to show Charlie periodically enjoying himself. Even Buck, a broad villain to begin with, develops fascinating facets. Ultimately inspiring, but never simplistic, this should spark plenty of discussion.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2018 Booklist


Excerpts

Excerpts

Sweat was pouring out of every part of my body. We'd been standing in the alley for the longest time afore the Cap'n finally said, "Don't turn now, that's her with the sack and the bonnet." The Cap'n had me as a shield, ducking behind me so the woman couldn't see him. Soon's she walked on by the alley he give me a shove and I was on the sidewalk behind the woman. Following the plan I run out in the street till I was ten yards past then turned to face her. I said, "'Scuse me, Ma'am, do you know where..." Both me and the woman gasped. I thought the Cap'n had made a mistake, 'cause whilst this woman did have a eye patch and a scar running 'crost her cheek, he hadn't said nothing 'bout her skin! She was colored! How could a woman who didn't look no different than the slaves I'd seent 'round Possum Moan be the leader of a gang that robbed Mr. Tanner of four thousand dollars? Excerpted from The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.