by Maeve Friel
When haunting memories and the threat of violence push Charlie to the brink of despair, a strange new friend helps her find the courage to face bullying girls and free herself from her inner demons.
Abandoned by her mother at Victoria Station in London when she is only four, Charlotte “Charlie” Collins is sent to live with her father in Dublin.
Ten years later, Charlie has been living with her somewhat distracted father, trying to understand his silence about her mother’s desertion. At school, Charlie is mercilessly bullied by her cruel classmates after they find out that she was the baby left by an unstable mother. At fourteen years old, Charlie struggles to come to come to terms with all her relationships, and she almost gives up on life.
This compelling story of desperation and hope, and of betrayal and second chances, depicts a tough young heroine who commands readers’ admiration and respect. Intense and deeply moving, Maeve Friel’s novel is a harrowing account of one girl’s struggle to overcome her fears and turn her life around.
Publication Date: 3/1/2004
Page Count: 112
Size: 5 ̎ x 7-1/8 ̎
Age Range: 12 – 16
F&P: W, Gr 6, Genre RF
Themes: Bullying, Single Parents, Peer Pressure
BISAC 1: YAF058020 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Bullying
BISAC 2: YAF046070 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / People & Places / Europe
BISAC 3: YAF058220 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
“Friel has penned a masterful portrait of children’s torment of other children and the bleak emotional landscape of a desperate young teen…. An extraordinary tale about the power that bullies wield, a bit reminiscent of Cormier’s Chocolate War.” ―Booklist
“From start to finish Charlie will tug at your heartstrings and make you want to reach into the book and bring her into your home where you can shelter her and bathe her in strength and friendship.” ―Novel Nutritious
Best Books for Young Adults (Nominee) ―YALSA (ALA), 1998
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Meet the Author
Maeve Friel was born in Northern Ireland. She worked as a teacher, a translator, a secretary and a tour guide before taking up full time writing. Friel is the author of 19 books for children, including Charlie’s Story, the Witch In Training series, and the Tiger Lily trilogy. You can visit her website here.