Everything Southern & So Cotton Pickin Cute

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Charlatan's Boy Review

I had the pleasure to read a great summer (or anytime) novel for older children or young tweens.  I chose to review this with Zach, my grandson in mind.

See A Genuine He-Feechie Alive And In The Flesh!
Grady is an orphan who travels the hot back roads of the South.  The only life he remembers is the one a huckster named Floyd has given him.  Like all hucksters, carnival folk or medicine men they never stay long in one spot traveling from village to village making a living pulling hoaxes and flimflams. 

Now times are leaner and the good people of the fictional Corenwald frontier don't spend their money easily. Especially since they don't believe in feechies anymore.  Are do they?  Floyd the charlatan has hatched a plan for Grady and him to create another Great Feechie Scare. 

Grady misses the exciting days when he played the feechie from the swamp, but has a longing to know more about his past and who he really is.

My Thoughts:
This is about a boy who is playing the part of ugliest boy in the world.  Which isn't all that hard when you're, well...ugly.  He says so and Floyd says so.  They tell people his so ugly that he comes from a made up group of swamp people called the feechiefolks, the inhabitants of the Feechiefen.  It's sort of a Southern Mark Twain tell for kids.  It's written as a first person account of Grady's adventures.  The author Jonathan Roger grew up in Georgia where he spent lots of hours playing in the swamps and riverboats of the South.  These memories provided him the imagination to develop the wild places of The Charlatan's Boy.

Jonathan uses a lot of Southern isms when writing this book. Spelling words more like we say them down here than spelling them correctly.  This is probably why I connected with the story and wanted Zach to read it.  With Zach being raised so far from the South in New York, I thought it would be adventure into a place that's maybe a little mysterious and will let his mind drift off to an imagined land. 

It can be a little slow at times but I'm thinking that might be more the grandma in me as opposed to a young boy with an imagination.  I'm happy I reviewed it and I think Zach will be happy when he gets to read it too.

To learn more about Jonathan Rogers you can visit his website http://jonathan-rogers.com/.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for my honest review.

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