Books for children - May 13

"The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle" by Avi, Orchard Books, 215 pages

Read aloud: age 7, 8 and older.

Read yourself: age 9, 10 and older.

In 1832, 13-year-old Charlotte Doyle had been warned by various strangers not to board the vessel, "Seahawk." Yet her father leaves specific orders that she should sail on that ship from England to Providence, Rhode Island, where she will be reunited with her father and family. As a proper young lady, she could not disobey those orders.

Not long after boarding, Charlotte grows uneasy with the rough crewmen who seem to resent her presence. As the only passenger, she feels quite alone. The ship's cook, Zachariah, suggests she might be in need of a friend, and gives her a dagger for protection. Horrified at first, Charlotte soon realizes that she not only needs the dagger but that her initial perception of Captain Jaggery as a man of honor and integrity was not true; he is a murderous, evil man. The crew doesn't seem to be any better, and rebellion is brewing, with Charlotte caught in the middle.


Library: Salem Free Public Library, 264 Hartford Rd., Salem

Library Director: Jackie Hemond

Children & Teen Services: Pat Aldrich

Choices this week: "Minnie and Moo" (Easy Reader Series) by Denys Cazet; "Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School" by Mark Teague; "Three Good Deeds" by Vivian Vande Velde


"Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale From the Brothers Grimm" retold by Kate Coombs, illustrated by John Nickle, Atheneum, 2012, 40 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4, 5 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 and 8.

Born half human and half hedgehog, Hans the Hedgehog doesn't fit in with the other children in his village. Saddened, he decides to make his own way in the world, leaves his parents, and flees to the forest with his magical fiddle to perfect his music. Assisting those who become lost in the forest, Hans the Hedgehog is promised a reward for helping them find their way home. Some people don't keep their promises, yet some do, and when that happens, it is truly magical.

"My Dad is Big and Strong, But?A Bedtime Story" by Coralie Saudo, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo, Enchanted Lion Books, 2012, 28 pages, $16.95 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4, 5 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 and 8.

Every night it's the same old story for the boy - his dad doesn't want to go to bed! The boy tries to reason with Dad only to find Dad running about the house. Then the boy reads Dad not one but two stories, and still, Dad isn't quite ready for bed. As you can imagine, the boy finds all of this quite exhausting!

This charming and comical reversal of bedtime antics will have kids and adults chuckling on every page.


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