Throwback Thursday: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle tells the story of an ocean voyage of unimaginable consequences… Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago. Be warned, however: If strong ideas and action offend you, read no more. Find another companion to share your idle hours. For my part I intend to tell the truth as I lived it.

I don’t remember the first time I read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, but I do know that it is awesome. Along with The Witch of Blackbird Pond, this was one of my favorite books to read when I was younger. It still holds a hallowed place on my shelf. I learned so much about how ships worked in the 1800s because of this book. I loved the idea of a girl just completely throwing away society’s expectations and going to live on a ship.

The captain was a great villain – charming yet realistic, and yet absolutely awful. And he was defeated so soundly that it made the book that much more thrilling to read. Zachariah was wonderful and a great mentor, but still human. The characters were all incredibly human, and I think that’s what brought me back to this book time and time again.

I’m not sure how I missed this bit of information, but Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis. I always assumed this book was written by a woman, for some reason.

“A sailor chooses the wind that takes the ship from a safe port. Ah, yes, but once you’re abroad, as you have seen, winds have a mind of their own. Be careful, Charlotte, careful of the wind you choose.”

2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

  1. This was my favorite of the books we read in my fifth-grade class — with The Witch of Blackbird Pond a close second — but my copy immediately fell apart when the unit was over. I should check it out at the library and see how it holds up in adulthood!

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