In the year 1832, teenaged Charlotte finds herself the only passenger aboard a ship traveling from England to America. After the friendly cook reveals the truth about the brutal captain and the plans of the crew during their voyage, Charlotte finds herself caught in the middle of a battle bound to end in death. Though strong and brave, she finds herself torn between the captain, one of her father’s employees, and the cook who has made himself her closest friend and protector.
The theme of truth that runs rampant throughout this novel is brilliant, in my opinion. There is a need for an underlying emphasis on truth in young adult and children’s books these days. While the novel is filled with mystery, action and intrigue, the important idea that I took away was to be honest with yourself, as well as to be true to yourself. Whether a thirteen-year-old could actually experience what Charlotte did is beside the point. The fact that she believed in what was going on around her and stuck to her guns about what should happen next is what we should take away from this novel.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Written by Avi
Originally published in 1990