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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by…

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (original 1990; edition 2003)

by Avi (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,8621471,384 (3.97)1 / 81
As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.
Title:The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Authors:Avi (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2003), 278 pages
Collections:Fiction - LS, Your library

Work Information

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (1990)

  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
    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)
  3. 30
    Sarah Bishop by Scott O'Dell (SadieReads)
  4. 10
    Pirates! by Celia Rees (espertus)
  5. 00
    Nothing but the Truth by Avi (gilberts)
  6. 00
    Pirate Soul by Pat Croce (meggyweg)
  7. 00
    The Escape From Home by Avi (nocowardsoul)
    nocowardsoul: Charlotte and Laurence are pretty similar.
  8. 00
    The Secret Journey by Peg Kehret (HollyMS)
  9. 03
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (meggyweg)
  10. 37
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (SadieReads)

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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Name that Book: Book about sailing/pirates4 unread / 4Halcy0n, December 2015

» See also 81 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
I read this book like ten times when I was in middle school. The suspense! The high seas! The adventure! Getting all up in Charlotte Doyle's life always helped me get out of my own. Whatever problems I had with soccer or school seemed small compared to being accused of murder by an evil sea captain. Charlotte's story helped me take the long-view, to the see the big picture, to get some perspective on life. I love that there's no romance in this book at all. Sadly, many of the books I read as a kid lead me to believe that true love is the end-all and be-all of life. At the end of Charlotte's journey, she just wants to get out of her corset and into some comfy clothes. Amen, sister.

In fact, I think Charlotte Doyle is one of the great inspirational characters in children's literature. She transforms from a snobby, scared sheep-girl into a strong, brave, sailor-woman. She stops letting other people dictate her life to her and takes control. You can almost feel her spirit uncoiling as you read. It's breathtaking. It's transporting. It's awesome.

( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
I think I regret rereading this. I read this originally at 13, so Charlotte's age, and chaffing for something other then Fear Street, Sweet Valley, Poirot and Anne McCaffrey.

This felt like a breathe of fresh air and I am indebted to it for the simple fact it gave me a reason to broaden my reading horizons to historical fiction (mostly of the romance kind).

But n this reread - the first time in 21 years I've picked the book up again - I was so uttetly bored I worried I had read a different book as a child. Instead I did find Charlotte to be just as impetuous just as rambunctious and just as impulsive as I remembered.

What had changed was how I viewed Charlotte's actions themselves. The writing was just as formal and stilted as I remembered; Avi's writing being and that in and of itself caused problems.

I didn't feel much passion I suppose, not much drama. In the last 21 years this kind of story has been a staple for me and I find the book that started my interest lacks the verve of it's predessors (HOOK'S DAUGHTER, but Heidi Schultz for instance is also about a well heeled daughter finding her place is at sea then tending embroidery).

The humor I remember from my first time reading is not here nor is the cleverness I remembered. My nostalgia hit me hard when Charlotte is confronting the Captain, but it lacked the battle of wits I recalled.

So in general I should have left this to my memories. Maybe Charlotte is just too young for me to feel a kinship, or maybe we long for different horizons now. ( )
  lexilewords | Dec 28, 2023 |
Good exciting story with a plucky heroine but a little hard to believe! ( )
  kslade | Nov 21, 2023 |

I think young readers will really enjoy this adventure on the sea if they could only get past the very hokie beginning. As was typical in early 1800's, Charlotte was sent across seas to England for "proper" schooling in becoming a "proper" young lady. But, on her voyage back home to Rhode island where her family were part of the elite slave owners, anything that could go wrong went wrong. This is her adventure as she tried to cope with the hard and dangerous realities of life...and of hard sailors, testing her courage, strength and survival skills. ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
I read this once in elementry, once in middle school, and now again as an adult. I loved it every time that I read it. The story of a 13-year-old girl who finds the freedom of the open sea more inviting than the sheltered and stuffy existance she was leading. She finds the strength to overcome her fears, and stand up to those who feel she is beneath them. ( )
  LinBee83 | Aug 23, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (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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