Thursday, June 22, 2006

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi, 1990 *audio

At 13, after finishing her year at a British school for "better girls," Charlotte embarks from Liverpool, white gloves in tow, on the brig "Seahawk" to return to her parents in Providence, RI. Her chaperones never appear, and so, in 1832, Charlotte finds herself in the scandalous position of solitary female on a ship sailed by as nefarious-looking a bunch of scalawags as literature has yet offered us, with a black-hearted captain for good measure. Charlotte's ensuing adventures prove that even better girls can have high adventures upon the rolling seas, and teach her, in natural and convincing ways, to question the class, gender, and race assumptions upon which her privileges as a "better girl" rest. Full of shivering timbers and jibbing the mainsail, nautical fun and perilous danger. Strongly recommended.

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