Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2016 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
ISBN: 978-0374302733
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Charlie, who despises her real name of Charlemagne, has a dysfunctional family. Her mother is immobilized by depression, and her father is imprisoned. Social Services steps in and ships Charlie off to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with an unknown Aunt Bertha and her husband Gus. Charlie finds herself in a new fifth grade near the end of the school year, living with strangers in a house with a back porch on stilts that hangs off the steep side of a mountain. Charlie's defenses against the world consisted of two things - offenses in myriad forms and a ritual of making daily wishes, such as finding pennies or wishing on the first star.

Charlie falls head over heels for a stray dog named Wishbone, and despite a bumpy start, Charlie and her neighbor Howard become genuine friends.

Charlie is a likeable, contrary character whose defenses gradually crumble in a believable manner. The author knows her characters, her milieu and her wishes.

Kemie Nix   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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