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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1990)

by Avi

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,5671381,399 (3.99)1 / 71
As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.
  1. 60
    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: In both, the protagonist sets out to sea and must show great courage to rectify a grievous mistake that exposes themselves and the crew to great danger. Both excellent reads for the nautically-minded.
  2. 30
    Sarah Bishop by Scott O'Dell (SadieReads)
  3. 30
    Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L. A. Meyer (Caramellunacy, la_librarian)
    Caramellunacy: Both of these adventure stories are about a strong girl proving her worth on board a sailing ship. Charlotte shows the crew her mettle despite the fact that she's a girl, and Jacky disguises herself as a boy to escape detection. Both are great stories for those who love nautical stories.… (more)
  4. 10
    Pirates! by Celia Rees (espertus)
  5. 00
    The Secret Journey by Peg Kehret (HollyMS)
  6. 00
    The Escape From Home by Avi (nocowardsoul)
    nocowardsoul: Charlotte and Laurence are pretty similar.
  7. 00
    Pirate Soul by Pat Croce (meggyweg)
  8. 00
    Nothing But The Truth by Avi (gilberts)
  9. 03
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (meggyweg)
  10. 37
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (SadieReads)

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» See also 71 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
"The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle" is a Newberry Honor book originally published in 1990. The story is set in 1832 when a 13 year old girl, Charlotte Doyle, boards a ship from England bound for the US where is meant to rejoin her family. She was meant to be traveling with other families but finds herself alone with only the ships crew and captain. She soon finds herself immersed in conflict between the crew and the cruel captain, a conflict that leads to her joining the crew and ultimately to her being put on trial for murder. This is a unique story that centers on the voice of strong heroine. I believe upper elementary and middle school students would enjoy it as it has plenty of action and suspense. All of the nautical information could also make for an interesting research project and topic.
  traceycasey | Jul 12, 2021 |
For years, Avi's books have been floating around my to-be-read "raffle". Finally, I managed to read at least one book.
This is a story about a girl named Charlotte who became the only girl passenger aboard a ship with all-make crew. I like how the author wrote an authentic language that's set in its intended period. If you're into books with strong female lead on an adventure by the sea, check this out! ( )
  DzejnCrvena | Apr 2, 2021 |
This was a great adventure story. Burly sailors, an evil captain, mystery and intrigue, a likable heroine, and gender roles thrown upside down. The story takes place in 1832 so some of the language and attitudes of the characters feel out of place now, but are authentic for the time period. But the detail of the period and ship are quite specific, and Charlotte is a great narrator. I understand why Avi didn't write any more stories about Charlotte's adventures, but I still wouldn't have minded revisiting her!

Course evaluation:

Personal Response: I really enjoyed the setting of this story, the historical details, and the challenges to gender roles in the 1830s. Charlotte was a wonderful narrator and I loved watching her transformation from proper young girl to confidant crew member.

Evaluation: This story reflects the values and attitudes of 1832; Charlotte begins the story as a proper young lady, worried about being without chaperones on the ship, and initially impressed with the captain for being a well-dressed gentleman. These social norms may make the reader uncomfortable at times - the negative attitudes toward Zachariah as a black man and the expectations of Charlotte as a girl – but Avi’s descriptions create an authentic setting and will spark discussion among readers. However, the details of the culture and ship (complete with an Appendix of drawings and vocabulary) do not detract from the exciting and suspenseful plot. Charlotte’s first-person perspective is also quite effect; the reader identifies with her feeling out of place on the ship and watches as she matures throughout the book. ( )
1 vote JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
A childhood fav. I am grateful to this story for showing me that you decide how to live your life. Either by new action or submission, both painful. ( )
  dandelionroots | Oct 28, 2020 |
A fun read! One of my wife's favorites growing up. We read it aloud to one another and it earns a big recommendation from me.
  benjclark | Oct 11, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
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For Elizabeth and Christina
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Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty.
Just before dusk in the late afternoon of June 16, 1832, I found myself walking along the crowded docks of Liverpool, England, following a man by the name of Grummage.
But when a ship is upon the sea, there's but one who rules. As God is to his people, as king to his nation, as father to his family, so is captain to his crew. Sheriff. Judge and jury. He is all. (page 34)
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As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

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Taking place in Liverpool in 1832, Charlotte Doyle is about to board a ship called the Seahawk where she is accompanied by Mr. Grummage. Despite her gut feeling and what others have told her about the sea, she boards the ship ready to start her adventure. However, things make a turn for the worst when a crew member is killed on board - with Charlotte's knife. Will she be able to make a case for herself and her innocence?

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