A Review by Mr. Wuest
True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi was an exciting book about a proper young girl from a wealthy family. The somewhat snobby girl sets sail aboard The Seahawk to cross the Atlantic from England to America to join her awaiting family. The respectable Captain Jaggery leads the rough crew but things are not what they appear to be. Charlotte is the only passenger along with the cargo. The sailors watch her carefully. Zachariah, the friendliest sailor, warns Charlotte that the Captain is an evil villain. The Captain warns Charlotte about the evil crew. Charlotte's loyalty to the captain is tested when the captain is terribly cruel giving a punishment to one of the crew members. Suddenly, Charlotte doesn't know who to believe. Over the course of the book, Charlotte changes completely. She becomes a likable and courageous girl.
I like this story because unexpected things keep happening. I was surprised over and over with each event that happened. This book is a true "High Seas Adventure" with murders, hurricanes, ghosts, and the testing of friendships. But best of all, is the change that Charlotte goes through. I didn't like her in the beginning - but by the end, she became strong and stood up for what was right. Avi won a Newbery Honor for this book and I think it was well deserved. He is a good writer that uses plenty of powerful languge. I give this book a "Mr. Wuest Two Thumbs Up" award - but with a caution that this book is a higher level read.