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The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle
Author - AVI

In the summer of 1832, thirteen year-old Charlotte Doyle is looking forward to her voyage across the Atlantic. She is going home to America from her school in England. Two months on the sea in a large, beautiful boat with jolly sailors, with companions her age, with no lessons to do, would surely be heaven! But the Seahawk turns out to be a seedy old cargo ship with sailors who are plotting to overthrow the captain. And there are no companions sailing with her – Charlotte is the only passenger on the ship.
Prim and prejudiced in the beginning, Charlotte does not mingle with the rough crew or take their well-meaning advice. She trusts Captain Jaggery who is a ‘gentleman’ and later discovers how cruel and vindictive he is. She works hard to win back the trust of the crew and joins them, only to be accused of murder by the clever Captain. She is tried while still at sea and is to be hanged the next morning, but events take many an unexpected turn. When the Seahawk sails into port, it is Charlotte who is at the helm!
‘The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle’ is an amazing book of adventure, mystery and suspense. Narrated in the first person by the young heroine, we live every moment of the action, and experience the way she grows through her experience. She learns to think for herself, and like an experienced sailor, chooses ‘the wind that takes the ship from safe port’ to a destiny of her choice.
The book won numerous awards including the Newbery Honor in 1991, and has remained very popular ever since. It has a very useful appendix that explains the different parts of a brig, and the way time is marked on a ship. Excellent read for anyone above 12 years.
Avi was born in New York in 1937. He started out as a playwright and began writing for children only after he had children of his own. His ‘Crispin’ and ‘Nothing but the Truth’ also won the Newbery Awards.

Excerpt: “ Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating, even if it did happen years ago. But before I begin relating what happened, you must know something about me as I was in the year 1832… at the time my name was Charlotte Doyle. And though I have kept the name, I am not – for reasons you will soon discover- the same Charlotte Doyle.”

Author: AVI
Pages: 240
Published by: Harper Trophy
ISBN: 0-380-72885-0
Format: Paperback
Price: Rs. 204/-

Review - Revathi Sachidanandam

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