Published Date: September 2013
Publisher: Peter E. Randall Publisher
The Story: Charley is based on the true story of a twelve-year-old boy living in Boston in 1910. Suffering from abandonment he winds up on the steps of an orphanage. Charley, blessed with a beautiful voice, joins the traveling choir. When his hopes are all but dashed, he sings his way into a family in rural Maine.
My Review: This is such a cute and heart warming story. Charley doesn't want to leave his older brother or younger brother and sister, but when his dad leaves to find work, his older brother tells Charley that they need to go to the orphanage. After the choir director finds out Charley can sing very well, he joins the choir who travels all over the east, in hopes of finding homes for the children.
This story also breaks my heart, with knowing even now, children are hoping to find a family to call their own. I had a hard time reading it, only because it brought tears to my eyes, and it's really hard to read while you're crying. But I love this story! Donna Seim paints a picture and you imagine you're there in Boston, or in Maine. You can hear the language of the time too.
About the Author: Charley is award-winning author DONNA MARIE SEIM's second middle grade novel. Her first novel, Hurricane Mia, was praised as "a 5 star young reader's book that should be in every library, every classroom, and every home," by Readers' Favorite Book Reviews. Donna is the author of two picture books, Satchi and Little Star and Where is Simon, Sandy? Donna holds a BSSW in social welfare, and a MA in Special Education. Donna lives in Newbury, Massachusetts. SUSAN SPELLMAN is a fine artist and illustrator who resides in Newburyport, Massachusetts. She illustrates for Highlights magazine and has illustrated more than thirty titles for children since 1979, including: Mabel Takes a Paddle, by Emily Chetkowski, Draw History, the Civil War, by Nancy Clayton and Pinky & Bubs' Stinky Night Out, by Frankie Spellman.