The Journey of Little Charlie
Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis brings his trademark humor and heart to the story of a boy struggling to do right in the face of history's cruelest evils.Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His dad just died, the share crops are dry, and the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, Cap’n Buck, says Charlie’s dad owed him a lot of money. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal to repay his father’s debt by accompanying Cap’n Buck to Detroit in pursuit of some folks who have stolen from him. It’s not too bad of a bargain for Charlie . . . until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers that they escaped slavery years ago and have been living free. 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 . . .

The Journey of Little Charlie Details

TitleThe Journey of Little Charlie
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Young Adult

The Journey of Little Charlie Review

  • Kim McGee
    January 1, 1970
    Christopher Paul Curtis is known for his terrific storytelling told in the true voice of the time period he is writing about. This book is no exception and you will find yourself rereading sentences out loud just to see if you can get the old Southern slang down just right. The story of a young sharecropper's son with not even the fields he plows to call his own who gets put to use by a cruel slave catcher is quite the journey. Charlie has grown up with slaves his whole life but it is not until Christopher Paul Curtis is known for his terrific storytelling told in the true voice of the time period he is writing about. This book is no exception and you will find yourself rereading sentences out loud just to see if you can get the old Southern slang down just right. The story of a young sharecropper's son with not even the fields he plows to call his own who gets put to use by a cruel slave catcher is quite the journey. Charlie has grown up with slaves his whole life but it is not until he sees their unjust treatment at the hands of Cap'n Buck and the goodness of others that he can put his feelings into perspective.It is a journey not only from South Carolina to Canada but from a young boy to a man. Excellent historical fiction from a master storyteller.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    This is a hard book - it does not pull back on the brutality of slavery and slave catching even though this is a children's book. But it's so so good! Charlie is a character you have to root for. I used to say that Brian Jaques' Cluny the Scourge was just about the most loathsome villain in children's literature. But he has nothing on Cap'n Jack. 5th-7th grades
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  • Katie Fitzgerald
    January 1, 1970
    I have always said I would gladly read anything by Christopher Paul Curtis, but the dialect in this book is just too much of a stumbling block for me and I decided to abandon the ARC after the first chapter. Reading dialect feels very tedious to me, and trying to read it aloud just made me sound foolish. I will consider revisiting the story as an audiobook in the future.
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  • Noah T
    January 1, 1970
    NarrationThe novel The Journey Of Little Charlie was narrated by Charlie Bobo, the son of a fallen sharecropper. The story is narrated in the first person and the narrator could be considered a non reliable source of information, although I would trust Charlie.SettingThe novel starts off in Possum Moan, a small town in South Carolina, but thanks to the mission of Cap’n Buck, ends up in Detroit, Michigan. The whole novel taking place in the late 1850’s. The original setting, Possum Moan, may have NarrationThe novel The Journey Of Little Charlie was narrated by Charlie Bobo, the son of a fallen sharecropper. The story is narrated in the first person and the narrator could be considered a non reliable source of information, although I would trust Charlie.SettingThe novel starts off in Possum Moan, a small town in South Carolina, but thanks to the mission of Cap’n Buck, ends up in Detroit, Michigan. The whole novel taking place in the late 1850’s. The original setting, Possum Moan, may have instilled so called “Southern values” into Charlie, but I wouldn’t say the setting drove the plot.ThemeI would suggest that the theme be Man V. Society and Man V. Self because Charlie is forced to either go against the norms of the nation at the time and allow the runaway slaves to go free or go against his own values and capture the family of runaways and watch them be tortured.GenreThe novel was a historical fiction novel. The one detail that differs this novel from offers based upon the original abolitionist movement, to my own understanding, the narrator was free man and white. This allows you to see the original civil rights movement not only through the eyes of a slave, but now the eyes of a free man.AuthorThe novel was written by Newbery medal winner Christopher Paul Curtis. His other works were The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963 , Bud, Not Buddy , Elijah Of Buxton that is just to name only a few. Some of his other works shared the same genre of historical fiction during the Civil Rights era.PlotCharlie Bobo is met with a knock on the door, only to find the menacing Cap’n Buck who came to collect the father’s hidden debt. Fearing for his life, Charlie agrees to pay off the debt by helping reclaim “Stolen property” up in Detroit, Michigan. When Charlie arrives in Detroit he realises that the “Stolen property” is simply a family of runaway slaves… You will have to read on to hear what happens next.My OpinionI found the novel to be both well written and captivating, one of those books you cannot put down. Based upon the writing of this novel I would read other titles like it from the author. I would encourage everybody to read this novel there's the history for some and the action for others. I recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    When Charlie’s father is killed in a freak accident, he and his mother are left destitute and unable to repay his father’s debt to their landlord. The two of them try to flee, but they are caught by Cap’n Buck, the overseer on the local plantation and a man who terrorizes people just for fun. To pay off part of his father’s debt, Charlie joins Cap’n Buck has he journeys north from South Carolina to Detroit to catch some thieves. At twelve-years-old, Charlie is as large as a grown man and no stra When Charlie’s father is killed in a freak accident, he and his mother are left destitute and unable to repay his father’s debt to their landlord. The two of them try to flee, but they are caught by Cap’n Buck, the overseer on the local plantation and a man who terrorizes people just for fun. To pay off part of his father’s debt, Charlie joins Cap’n Buck has he journeys north from South Carolina to Detroit to catch some thieves. At twelve-years-old, Charlie is as large as a grown man and no stranger to hard work. But the trip ends in a situation that Charlie was not expecting, with escaped slaves who have built a life in the north. Charlie doesn’t have a lot of choices in life, but perhaps one last decision will make all the difference for him and others.The Newbery Award winning Curtis writes with such skill that it is impossible not to fall deeply into his stories and become immersed in the world he builds. Here, the strong South Carolina dialect that Charlie and Cap’n Buck speak in helps to strengthen that world building, creating a strong tie to the region and historical setting with language alone. The historical setting is clearly drawn, including the city of Detroit as well as the communities in Canada. These elements are critical because of the slave laws between the United States and Canada that are such an important part of the story.I fell hard for Little Charlie, a boy who has no education, lives in dire poverty, and whose family has steadily lost everything. There is something about him, about the way he sees the world. He has an optimism that carries him forward each day, not one that is blind or overly ambitious, but a cautious optimism that things can be different. It’s that nature that allows what he does in the book to make sense and not be out of character. Curtis has drawn a character who is an unlikely hero unless you know him well.Beautifully written and structured, this middle-grade novel is an important look at personal choices and the power of doing what is right. Appropriate for ages 10-13.
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  • Mary Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Told in first person from the point of view (and thick dialect) of a dirt-poor white sharecropper's large-for-his-age son who gets tricked by the nearby plantation's overseer into leaving South Carolina to go to Detroit and then Canada to retrieve some "property." I wondered about Curtis telling a story of slavery from the point of view of whites, but he makes them (especially Cap'n Buck, the overseer) ignorant, filthy, mean-spirited and...oh, I get it...power hungry.It was chilling to see the F Told in first person from the point of view (and thick dialect) of a dirt-poor white sharecropper's large-for-his-age son who gets tricked by the nearby plantation's overseer into leaving South Carolina to go to Detroit and then Canada to retrieve some "property." I wondered about Curtis telling a story of slavery from the point of view of whites, but he makes them (especially Cap'n Buck, the overseer) ignorant, filthy, mean-spirited and...oh, I get it...power hungry.It was chilling to see the Fugitive Slave Act version of white power and "police" (Cap'n Buck is mighty proud of his badge) brutality. As Curtis writes in the letter to the reader, "...those who don't remember the past, or choose to ignore it, are condemned to live it again and again."Charlie is a big goofy lunk who gets giddy when riding a train for the first time. He may be uneducated, but he's not stupid, and in the end, he makes choices that change lives, his own included.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    This is an intense story. Little Charlie Bobo (actually six-four and 180 pounds at age 13) is a poor white sharecropper's son who's never had any reason to question slavery--except that the overseer of the nearby plantation, Cap'n Buck, is sadistic and terrifying to people of any color. His journey north with Cap'n Buck is eye-opening for Charlie, who has never been more than a few miles from his home in South Carolina and just might turn out to be one of the few, exceptional people willing and This is an intense story. Little Charlie Bobo (actually six-four and 180 pounds at age 13) is a poor white sharecropper's son who's never had any reason to question slavery--except that the overseer of the nearby plantation, Cap'n Buck, is sadistic and terrifying to people of any color. His journey north with Cap'n Buck is eye-opening for Charlie, who has never been more than a few miles from his home in South Carolina and just might turn out to be one of the few, exceptional people willing and able to make a stand. This is a scary book with plenty of real peril, injustice, and terror, but also places of sanctuary and people willing to help. Believable, fleshed-out characters; even the sociopath Cap'n Buck is no cardboard villain.
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  • Annette Ahrens
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like I need to give an explanation for my one star rating. This was an excellently written, compelling book. I actually could not put it down at times, but I rate books on my personal feelings, not on the quality itself and I could not get past the subject matter. It was so hard to read, and at times was making feel sick. I hated every minute of it. I also had trouble with the dialect. While important to the story, I find it difficult reading books in dialect. This one may be better serve I feel like I need to give an explanation for my one star rating. This was an excellently written, compelling book. I actually could not put it down at times, but I rate books on my personal feelings, not on the quality itself and I could not get past the subject matter. It was so hard to read, and at times was making feel sick. I hated every minute of it. I also had trouble with the dialect. While important to the story, I find it difficult reading books in dialect. This one may be better served as an audio book, at least for someone like me.
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  • Edward Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    Dirt poor and desperate twelve-year-old sharecropper Charlie gets tricked by the nearby plantation's overseer into leaving South Carolina to go to Detroit and then Canada to retrieve some "property" and comes face to face with the evils of the Fugitive Slave Act.
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  • Reving
    January 1, 1970
    https://revingsblog.blogspot.com/2018...
  • Heather Pearson
    January 1, 1970
    1850's South CarolinaLittle Charlie was anything but little. At twelve years old, he stood well over six feet tall and weighed as much as a grown man. This served him well when working in the fields with his share cropper parents.After his father's untimely death, Charlie reluctantly agrees to go with the overseer at the neighbouring farm to retrieve some escaped slaves who were now living in Detroit. Little Charlie could never have imagined the profound impact that this journey would have on hi 1850's South CarolinaLittle Charlie was anything but little. At twelve years old, he stood well over six feet tall and weighed as much as a grown man. This served him well when working in the fields with his share cropper parents.After his father's untimely death, Charlie reluctantly agrees to go with the overseer at the neighbouring farm to retrieve some escaped slaves who were now living in Detroit. Little Charlie could never have imagined the profound impact that this journey would have on his life.Author Christopher Paul Curtis has spun a tale that could have been pulled straight from the history books. Set at a time when the United States was still divided on slave ownership, Little Charlie quickly begins to question many of the lies he had believed about coloured people. The biggest revelations come when he has a conversation with Sylvanus Demarest, the young black man that he and the overseer are attempting to lure back to Detroit. This is a well written and researched story that illustrates some of the horrors of the slave trade. While there is yet much to be atoned for, this book is a welcome addition to the existing narratives I've read previously in my quest to learn and understand more about the events of that complex time.I received and advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc., in exchange for an honest review. #IndigoEmployee
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  • Josephine (reading in twilight)
    January 1, 1970
    We Need Diverse Books just revealed the cover and I got chills reading that synopsis... https://tmblr.co/ZWNYhn2MAuegq
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusI normally love Curtis' work, but this was an odd time period, and the dialect was just too thick for me. I don't think I have readers for it, so regretfully will pass.
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