What It Is About: Wishes. We all make them. We all hope they come true. Wishes. They are powerful hopes. They are powerful dreams. Some wishes are more important than others. Charlie has wishes. Many of them. But one wish stands at the top of her list more than others. She has been displaced from her own home. Her mother can't get out of bed. Her father is in jail. Her older sister is living with a friend during her senior year. That leaves Charlie on her own. She begins a new chapter in her life living in a small town with her Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus. Anger surrounds Charlie and can't seem to get a "grip" on it. Luckily she is surrounded by people that want to help her. Howard, a classmate, is one such person that wants to help Charlie. He teaches her "Pineapple, Pineapple, Pineapple." Bertha and Gus also want to help. They provide a home that is nothing like the one she came from. The biggest support and help comes from a mangy mutt that has been wandering the small town, but not letting anyone get too close. That is until Charlie. Both of their lives will be changed forever.
What I Thought Of It: As I stated on Twitter, I'm so happy that I read this incredible book and so sad that I waited so long to get to Charlie's story. And what a journey it was. I could tell from the first lines that I was hooked! "I looked down at the paper on my desk. The getting to know you paper. At the top, Mrs. Willibey had written "Charlemange Reese." I put a big X over Charlemagne and wrote "Charlie." The writing was beautiful, perfect, and not a wasted word. The character development of Charlie was exquisite, thoughtful, and heart-warming. She was definitely a young girl I would love to have in my own class. The people that surrounded Charlie were just as important to the plot as she was herself. Howard was one of a kind and I won't soon forget him. The friendship he forged with Charlie made me smile on several occasions. This title will be "book talked", shared, and read in my fourth grade classroom.
Who Should Read It: Well, this is an easy one to answer. Everyone! Readers in grades three, four, five, and six will find it an entertaining read. Middle-school readers will enjoy the relationships between characters. Adult readers that read middle-grade books will know they have found a gem of a book. Be sure to get a copy of the novel, read it, and add it to your collection of must-have books. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5+ STARS out of 5 Stars