Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Classic Covers: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

This is the edition of Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle that still sits on my bookshelf.  I read it over and over again, inspired by Charlotte's journey from rich girl, ignorant in the ways of the world, to sailor dressed in boy's clothing.

And just look at that cover.  The look on her face.  That is how I always hoped I looked as a young girl, staring out the window during a long car ride: romantic, lost in her deep thoughts, and just bursting with secret potential.

I have always chafed at the sense that there are certain things that boys do and certain things that girls do (which is why I love Frankie Landau Banks so much).  Through Charlotte, I got to experience what it feels like to swab the deck, sit in the crow's nest, and hoist the mizzen mast.

Plus, Charlotte ends up as a sailor because she decides to fight against an unjust and racist captain who is tyrannizing his crew.  So she's a real hero, not just in the sense that she is the main character of the novel.

I always hoped to have adventures like Charlotte.  And I hoped, if tested, that I would make the noble and difficult choices that she made, holding myself to the highest standard of justice and honor.

But I still have never figured out why the author, Avi, has only one name.

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