Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2018
In this book by Newberry Medal-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis, the main character is a 12-year-old boy named Charlie, who is the son of a sharecropper. When his dad dies, Cap’n Buck, a mean plantation owner, comes to collect the debt that the family owes him. Charlie strikes a deal with him and agrees to track down some people that have been accused of stealing from the Cap’n. However, once he figures out the fugitives are actually runaway slaves, Charlie experiences a wide range of emotions. He is torn between helping Cap’n Buck or not and risk getting killed.
I give this book 3 stars because although the story was pretty engaging, the dialect was hard to understand. For example, the word “ask” is replaced by “ax.” I was confused by this because of the fact that Charlie’s dad died because of an ax. Every time Charlie said “ax,” I would briefly think that he meant a real ax. Plus, there are other words that are changed in this dialect that sometimes took me a bit of time to figure out what they are trying to say. Otherwise, it was a pretty good book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the other Cristopher Paul Curtis books or wants a good book about slaves in the pre-Civil War era. Although the dialect was confusing, I liked the book and thought it was a good story.
Review by Scott W., age 13, Central South Carolina Mensa