Sunday, September 12, 2010

Through the Looking Glass

The Wonder of Charlie Anne has received a fabulous review from Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews!

The Wonder of Charlie Anne

Charlie Anne has suffered a great deal in the last six months or so. Her mother died soon after giving birth, the baby died, and then cousin Mirabel came to live with Charlie Anne’s family. To say that Charlie Anne dislikes Mirabel is an understatement. The woman works Charlie Anne all day long and, if this is not bad enough, she also wants to help Charlie Anne to “become a young lady.”

Life is hard on Charlie Anne’s family farm because of the Great Depression. For a while they manage, but finally Charlie Anne’s father decides that he has to go north to work on President Roosevelt’s roads. Charlie Anne is furious because she believes that her mother would not want their family to split up. She cannot bear the thought that her father will leave her with Mirabel. It is just too terrible to contemplate. Unfortunately Papa and Charlie Anne’s eldest brother soon leave, and Charlie Anne is left with Mirabel, her annoying sister Ivy, her little brother Peter, and her little sister Birdie.

Somehow, Charlie Anne copes, taking every miserable day as it comes. Then the neighbor who lives next door, Mr. Jolly, brings home a new wife who is called Rosalyn. Not only does Roslyn wear honest-to-goodness flaming red pants, but she also has an adopted daughter called Phoebe who is African American. Most of the people in the neighborhood avoid Rosalyn because they don’t want to have anything to do with the “colored” girl, but Charlie Anne soon grows very fond of Rosalyn and Phoebe. Even though Mirabel does not want her to, Charlie Anne goes to see them and plays with Phoebe. Having these two people in her life helps makes things more bearable for Charlie Anne for a while, until her life unravels even more.

This incredible book will give readers a rich and often powerful picture of what it was like to live on a farm in America during the Great Depression. In addition, the author explores the nature of racism and she shows, through Charlie Anne’s eyes, how racism makes so little sense, especially when you are young and lonely. With inspirational flashes of humor and incredible sensitivity, the author tells a riveting and meaningful story.


Thank you to editor Marya Jansen-Gruber, who wrote the review. And here's a little information about Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review.

"Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Review has been in operation since October of 2003. Our goal is to provide parents, teachers, and others with a tool to help them find truly exceptional books for the young people in their lives. We do not sell books, we just review them, and we only review the books we like, so our reviews are always positive ones. Over time TTLG has expanded this fundamental goal to include doing what we can to review books published by small houses, to publicize organizations who work for children, and to publicize the work of new authors and illustrators."

Spend some time browsing the site. You'll enjoy yourself!