Monday, May 21, 2018

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis -OPTIONAL

The Journey of Little Charlie by CHristopher Paul Curtis, 256 pages. Scholastic, 2018.  $17.  

Language: G (o swears); Mature Content: G Violence: PG13 (Torture, Shooting).


12yo Charlie is a white boy living in the south during the time of legal slavery in the south. After his father dies in an accident, it's revealed that he owed a debt to a local slave owner.  Now Charlie is forced to pay off the debt by traveling with the man to obtain runaway slaves and the money they stole from him. As Charlie learns more about Capn Buck during their journey, his conscience starts to bother him. There will come a point where he has to decide what is technically legal and what is right.

This book is rated 9yo -12yo, but I thought the authentic accented language would be very challenging for this age group (I found it challenging myself). Additionally the content is quite upsetting to read –as you are put in the position of having to endure the perspective of the bad guys. There is some animal violence, talk of slave torture, and the fear of what Capn has done and will do. While many books offer the perspective of the escaping slaves, this is a new spin, one I could have lived without. There were some odd moments too –like Charlie’s obsession with Cap’n’s cleanliness and spying on him bathing.

Stephanie, Elementary School Librarian & Author

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