Charlie Anne is devastated when her father must go north to build roads after the Depression hits. She and her siblings are left with their rigid cousin, Mirabel, and a farm full of chores. The only solace Charlie Anne finds is by the river, where the memory of her mother is strongest.
Then her neighbor Old Mr. Jolly brings home a new wife, Rosalyn, who shows up in pants—pants!—the color of red peppers. With her arrives Phoebe, a young African American girl who has also lost her mother. Phoebe is smart and fun and the perfect antidote to Charlie Anne's lonely days. The girls soon forge a friendship and learn from each other in amazing ways.
But when hatred turns their town ugly, it's almost more than they can bear. Now it's up to Charlie Anne and Phoebe to prove that our hearts are always able to expand.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Alfred A. Knopf
The Wonder of Charlie Anneby Kimberly Newton Fusco
Like many during the Great Depression, Charlie Ann's family is down on their luck. Author Kimberly Newton Fusco details this disheartened family's farm life in a beautifully poetic and touching manner. And while life initially seems full of heartache, an unexpected friendship brings much-needed sunshine into Charlie Ann's life.
Charlie Ann is an amazing character. She has an incredible amount of spunk and can't help but say exactly what she's thinking. Though she has her flaws, readers will cheer on her courageous spirit. The Wonder of Charlie Ann also tackles racial issues prevalant during the time period. These conflicts are presented from a child's perspective and show how love, friendship, and kindness can triumph. The Wonder of Charlie Ann is historical fiction for children at its finest!
Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation
Violence/Gore: A second-hand report indicates a character's mother was struck by a car and died; a character has a rock thrown at her face; a character gets her foot stuck in an animal trap.
Mature Subject Matter:
Racial and socioeconomic conflict, death of a family member, separation.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Reviewed By Rachel