|The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
An ocean voyage of unimaginable consequences …
Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago. Be warned, however: If strong ideas and action offend you, read no more. Find another companion to share your idle hours. For my part I intend to tell the truth as I lived it.
Story Behind the Story
I began the last story about a story by telling how Book A (Something Upstairs) led to Book B (The Man who was Poe). Here is the story how the Poe book led to Book C, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
Poe is generally credited with having invented the detective tale with his short story, Murders on the Rue Morgue. (1841) That story, profoundly influential, also came to be known as a “Locked Room Mystery.” Which is to say something happens in a room that is presumably inaccessible.
Well, I thought, living as I was on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, what could be more of a “locked room” than a sailing ship at sea? read more
Awards and Honors
Newbery Honor Book, 1991
“On a long, grueling journey from England to Rhode Island in 1802, a 12-year-old changes from a prim and proper girl to a swashbuckling mate of a mutinous crew and is accused of murder by the captain. Awash with shipboard activity, intense feelings, and a keen sense of time and place, the story is a throwback to good old-fashioned adventure yarns on the high seas .… A breathtaking seafaring adventure.” (School Library Journal)