Monday, July 8, 2013


Publication: Pete E. Randall Publisher
Author: Donna M. Seim
Illustrator: Susan Spellman
Rating: ****1/2

The best part of being a reviewer is that you get to read a lot of good books. The better than the best part is that sometimes you get to read a great book that takes you by a storm.

Well, to put in a nutshell, Charley is a simple story of a little boy, who, along with his siblings is abandoned by their father, their mother being long dead. Charley being second of the four siblings, is not yet fourteen so he is also sent to an orphanage where he is picked up by a farming family. The family is mostly kind to him, but there are some members that give him a bad time.

One fine day, more bad news reaches him. His father had died. He was now an orphan.

It is not so much with the story line that make it good, it is the narration that changes the entire look about it. The gentle way by which the emotions are expressed, the immaturity of a little kid, the angst, the troubled feelings finding their way out, the very character that does not waiver even in the face of adversity, the trust of human on fellow humans, the acceptance, the hurt of rejection, the kindness of some and the the heartlessness of others, the human want of something that you haven't tasted and then the longing to run back to the old setup, and so much more, have been described so beautifully and artfully that they appear to cast a kind of spell on the reader. The chapters are crisp and the story progresses fast.

Another character that caught attention was Charley's elder brother George, who was well aware of his own position, circumstances and sorrows and did his best to shied his younger siblings from the same plight. The altruistic nature he possessed, though still being a kid, made him act in ways that cast a shadow over his character.  But eventually, we find that he was ready to bear all that just to see his siblings happy. Not often can we find such maturity from kids.

It isn't everyday you get to read a book, a non-fiction especially, that has complete control on your emotions. Charley, the book, ends just when it must, else it would look like a Dickens' recast. The sad parts have not been over exaggerated and neither have the happy parts, though few, been overshadowed.

The culture of the early twentieth century America has been described well, the reader does not feel the absence of some information that might have been useful in the complete understanding of the story.

Yes, this book is going to find a place in my private library. It has just made a good memory that I will cherish for a long time to come.


  1. Some books so easily enter our hearts and stay there forever. Have added to me TBR list.

    1. True!!
      The storyline is very ordinary, but still somethings just feel nice...