I have to start out by saying that the Newberry Honor book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle has been on my TBR list forever and now I'll have to pick it up. I have read Crispin: The Cross of Lead several times throughout my homeschooling career, so I was familiar with the author. Also, spoiler alert: this book ends in a cliffhanger. Great if the sequel will be out quickly, frustrating if it won't be. I would place Avi, and Gary Paulsen in the same category of these guys know how teen boys think. Since I am Mom to mostly boys, I appreciate that.
We've been reading Treasure Island in or around the sixth grade at the Viking Academy, and I think this year we'll sub in this book instead. You get all the authentic atmosphere in a much more readable narrative. Oliver lives with his father and sister in a little seashore town in Britain. His older sister has had to take on most of his care since their mother died soon after his birth. After she turns eighteen, she realizes that things are never going to change in their home and leaves him with their gambler almost missing father and leaves to seek her fortune in London.
That is where Oliver's bad luck begins. He awakes one morning to find his home destroyed in flood and his father gone. The note his father left is wet, and Oliver is forced to guess every other word and can't really make sense of it. He gets sent to an orphanage, and things don't actually improve for a good long while.
In the end, he does reunite with his father and sister briefly before the book concludes leaving us wondering if he and his sister will find each other in the sequel. I enjoyed it and will be ordering it for our personal library. I read a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
May 16, 2017