Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Category: Historical Fiction
Personal Evaluation: I like Avi’s books in a very middling way and this one was no exception. His writing is good, storylines are solid, he just happens to pick characters and situations that I don’t particularly care for. I have long outgrown the mouse/hamster/rat genre, so Poppy and co. isn’t my favorite. And reading about the sea doesn’t hold the same enchantment for me as for some kids. That being said, I liked Charlotte well enough and the story was interesting enough.
What might interest children: All the adventure of the high seas! Even though Charlotte’s a girl, Avi probably has enough clout with boys from his other books to get them to read this. Plus, every other character in the book is male. There is lots of danger and suspense, and deaths from storms and guns. Charlotte, like Calpurnia Tate, is feisty and a feminist ahead of her time. I like how she handles herself with the all-male crew.