Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His sharecropper father just died and Cap'n Buck -- the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, South Carolina -- has come to collect a debt. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal with Cap'n Buck and agrees to track down some folks accused of stealing from the cap'n and his boss. It's not too bad of a bargain for Charlie... until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers their true identities. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure out his next move -- and soon. It's only a matter of time before Cap'n Buck catches on.
About the Author
Christopher Paul Curtis was awarded both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his debut book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963, and won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his second book, Bud, Not Buddy. Mr. Curtis is also the author of the Golden Kite Award-winning Bucking the Sarge, as well as Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission, and the Newbery Honor book Elijah of Buxton.
"Curtis's books occupy that all too rare space in middle grade lit; they're school curriculum standbys that are also crowd pleasers... Curtis's ninth novel is among his most suspenseful... Curtis is also a master at shifting tones -- and so for every nail-biting moment, there's a note of goofy joy or slapstick humor... 'Little Charlie' is a keeper: Raised in poverty, ignorance, and racism, Charlie develops his own moral compass -- and becomes brave enough to act on it." -- New York Times Book Review
* "Curtis portrays Charlie as a product of his white Southern upbringing and values, skillfully conveying how his widening view of the world leads to a change in his thinking. Written in persuasive dialect and piloted by a hero who finds the courage to do what he knows is right, Curtis's unsparing novel pulls no punches as it illuminates an ugly chapter of American history." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Newbery winner Curtis once again successfully draws on the stories about enslaved people who found freedom in Canada... A characteristically lively and complex addition to the historical fiction of the era from Curtis." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "A thought-provoking book from a master storyteller." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "Curtis's ability to intertwine humor and tragedy, change pacing effectively, and find hope in the direst of circumstances is masterful... Readers will be riveted by the conclusion... if they can see the words through their tears." -- The Horn Book, starred review
* "This is an old story demanding to be told a new way, and master storyteller Curtis proves just the one to do it." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Ultimately inspiring, but never simplistic, this should spark plenty of discussion." -- Booklist
"Will resonate with readers for its timeless themes of justice, self-awareness and questions of right and wrong... modern parallels abound, offering a clear gateway for discussions that are painfully important today." -- BookPage
"This is a compelling and ugly story for middle-grade readers told with genuine care... Christopher Paul Curtis does it again." -- Historical Novel Society
"The latest marvelous novel of the African-American experience from acclaimed author Christopher Paul Curtis" -- The Buffalo News