The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

by Avi

A good book.  “While written for a young audience, the book is well liked by many adults as well.”

“In this fast-paced and suspense-filled novel, 13-year-old Charlotte Doyle describes a remarkable sea voyage that changes her life forever. In 1832, Charlotte crosses the Atlantic aboard the Seahawk, departing from England to join her family in Rhode Island.  Raised to be a proper young lady, she is surprised to learn that she is the only passenger and only female aboard the ship. Frightened by a mysterious crew, at first she trusts only Jaggery, the captain, but soon discovers that he is cruel and slightly mad. She then joins ranks with the mutinous crew but must convince them of her loyalty by tackling death-defying feats unfamiliar to most females of her era. Charlotte is befriended along the way by the old black cook, Zachariah, who eventually helps save her life. When the vengeful captain accuses her of murder, Charlotte is tried and found guilty. She escapes punishment in a life-and-death struggle with Jaggery and is finally reunited with her family. Charlotte misses the Seahawk, however, and, in an unusual twist of the plot, casts aside the comforts of home for the life of a seafarer.” (Summary from McDougal Littell Classzone)

Avi has written a lot of books.  According to his website, Avi got the idea for this one from writing The Man Who Was Poe.  It’s working title was The Seahawk, “but as I [Avi] worked on the story I came to care more and more about Charlotte–and who she was–so that it became her book.”

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