Become a Book Review Blogger!
Do you enjoy reading and writing? Become one of the library’s teen bloggers and help other teens find out about books you love. You can be a volunteer at home!
Must be 12-18, in 7th-12th grade and be able to write in a conversational way with minimum grammar and spelling errors.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Review by Evan
What would it be like to live in a world where a person’s class matters more than their character and human values? A young thirteen-year-old girl on a voyage, with no family or friends, finds herself in this setting. Her whole life, she has been raised to believe that she should only interact with people of her own class. When she boards the Seahawk, she believes that she is better than everyone else and views the crew members as peasants who should look up to their superiors. However, as her journey progresses and through her adventures and interactions with them, she eventually reevaluates her beliefs.
In The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, Charlotte realizes how ignorant it is to judge people based on their class and that the true measure of a person is by their character and behavior. Charlotte’s evolution unfolds throughout her journey as she learns to become more open-minded. At the beginning of the novel, Charlotte’s main agenda is to interact with people
based on their social standing. When Charlotte first boards the ship, she is very judgemental of the crew and believes that it is disrespectful for them to interact with their “superiors.” She is disgusted and offended by an old crewman attempting to befriend her. Mr. Barlow, a sailor on the Seahawk warns that her being on the ship will “lead her to no good,” which was quite
offending to her as she believed that he had no right to be giving advice to her. When Charlotte meets Captain Andrew Jaggery, she is immediately intrigued and impressed. He represents himself as a proper gentleman with proper apparel, one whom she can trust and benefit from. In the big picture, Charlotte trusts Captain Jaggery based on his outside appearance and his status. She clearly chooses to interact with people in a very superficial way based on their apparel and looks, not their values or personality.
Throughout the novel, Charlotte begins to question her ways of thinking and her immediate judgment of the crewman based on their social class. An incident transpires due to Charlotte notifying Jaggery that the crew members are forming a mutiny to kill him. She watches in terror as infuriated Captain Jaggery kills Mr. Cranick and instructs his first mate to savagely whip Zachariah. Charlotte who originally idolizes Captain Jaggery starts to see him as a monster and a tyrant. As she tries to protect the crew from being abused, Captain Jaggery abandons Charlotte when she accidentally lashes him in the face. This results in them becoming archnemeses.
In reaction to all of this chaos, Charlotte stated that she hated and wanted to have nothing to do with him. Charlotte regrets ever judging people by their class and feels extremely sad and lonely because nobody likes her anymore. Consequently, it takes a lot of effort on her part to regain the crew’s trust. As she realizes that judging people by their exterior is an unintelligent strategy and no matter what class, race, or ethnicity, people should be judged based on their characters and values.
Charlotte eventually realizes how ignorant it is to judge people based on their class and that the true measure of a person is by their character and behavior. Charlotte’s evolution unfolds throughout her journey as she learns to become more open-minded.By the end of the novel, Charlotte forms her own opinions of people, based on personal experiences and not some
preconceived notion of judging them by their class. She reexamines and converts her beliefs from what she has been taught her whole life. As Charlotte’s voyage nears the end, she is at peace with all the crewman and has learned to respect each individual based on their traits and virtues. She leaves the ship as the Captain, after Jaggery’s fatal fall into the sea. The crewmen, happy the voyage has come to an end, bid their farewells to Charlotte. By the end of the voyage, Charlotte’s views on life and her perception of people has been reformed. She has earned the faith and trust of the crew members and ends the voyage in the most pleasant way
through the connections and friendships she has secured.
Throughout this novel, Charlotte completely evolves as a human being. In the beginning, Charlotte is shallow and divides people based on their social class. She deems herself as a proper young lady who should only interact with people of the same class and upbringing. However, as her journey takes its course, she begins to question her beliefs and her unfair judgment of others. She realizes that Captain Jaggery is not the man she once admired and abandons him. In order to redeem herself, she attempts tirelessly to befriend the crew again. By the end of the novel, Charlotte becomes the captain of the Seahawk and regains the trust and friendship of the crew members. She completely abandons her old ideals and adopts a new way of unbiased thinking, and sincere judgment of others.