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Beggar Charlie

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Will Beggar Charlie and Hickory Dick be able to return to England after being lost in China?
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Sales price: $2.99
Sales price without tax: $3.50
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Rating: 5/5
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Beggar Charlie

by Madeleine McLaughlin

Genre  Tween Adventure

Tags  China, Orphans, Press-Gangs, Ships, Rebellions, Buddhists, Temples, Boy's Adventures, Going Home, Bravery, Loyalty

Release  June 13, 2014

Words  21736

Pages  79

ISBN  978-1-77127-544-6

Price  $3.50


Back Cover

After his mother dies, Beggar Charlie finds himself alone, begging for bread. Life doesn't get any better when he is press-ganged. His only hope is the captain of the merchant ship who takes a liking to him.

When the ship docks in China, Charlie is sent ashore with Hickory Dick, a boy he mistrusts. A rebellion foments, and in horror, Charlie watches as the merchant ship sinks when some Chinese men set it on fire. Whatever will Beggar Charlie and Hickory Dick do?


 

Excerpt

“Well, lad. I know you would like to be on land. I’ll send Master Richard with you for a little leave. Now don’t go far, will you? I’m sure you’d like to get off for a little while especially after all this tossing.”

I just know he can see how happiness comes to me. His pale eyes sparkle like the wine he pours for himself every evening. Land! I can touch my foot on the ground—even Chinese soil is good. I’m not too fond of Hickory Dick, or Master Richard, as the captain calls him, but it’s true that I need an escort. Even one as mean as Hickory Dick.

“Has he ever been to China?” The words jump from my mouth.

“No, but you know he was in the New World. He was at Montreal and he traveled down to America where he dealt with Indians and all he met there. That’s why the men call him Hickory Dick, after the trees he used to cut down. He’s only fifteen but he’s been in a couple of fights in that part of the world when there were troubles between the whites and Indians. I think he will know how to deal with the Orientals. He always says he wants to make a life on the sea, so he has to learn some time.

“He’s older than me.”

“Aye, Master Charles. I say he’s near to a man but still the second youngest to you. I think you should find commonality with him.”


 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Reviews

Saturday, 16 August 2014
What a great and interesting historical book for children. I love the first person narrator, such a realistic and likable character. The twists and turns of his adventure keeps you glued to the pages.
Antje Hergt
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Beggar Charlie, by Madeleine McLaughlin, is a Tween adventure Orphaned, Charlie is sold into the sailing life under Captain Butler, a man who keeps him close against the river rats who'd set upon the boy without a second thought. Living at sea is a brutal life under the best of times, but where you are barely as high as a knee cap and you're grieving your mother, it can be terrifying.

Capt aim Butler sails them to China, gifts him and the next oldest boy Hickory Dick the first shore time...but the China shores are in unrest and the people, many of them addicted to the vagaries of Opium.

Walking the streets of this strange land where people speak "China-talk" they find a lad Tang who invites the boys to his father's house for some hospitality. What they find will bring three lads together to brave the world as they seek refuge somewhere for them to live together.
Leaving the house of violent death, Tang now a part of their little unit watch from the shore as the shop, with Captain Butler on it, is ignited and tossed into the angry China waves...the ship sunk.

The three boys set off, watching each other's back heading for Tang's aunt in Shanghai and the hope of a future three boys can share and find comfort in.

Family, they learn, can come from those not attached to you by blood. Some comes through shared experience, shared concern for making it through times no longer anything remotely like what they expected.

This is a beautiful, touching story about courage in the face of terrible necessity, and opening your heart, soul, and beliefs to those who might be strangers but are more important to you now that you have survived so much, than the very breath you breathe.

In a time where we look at others and call them names because we have nothing important to otherwise focus our inner powers on, I found this a story that any and every teacher should make required reading.



FIVE STARS easily..wish I could give it more.
Lin Holmes
Friday, 20 June 2014
I was immediately snatched into the world of Madeleine McLaughlin's Beggar Charlie where a boy is sent ashore during an uprising in China two centuries ago. I followed beggar Charlie and his two friends as they fought to escape the rebels, traveling far up river struggling to save their lives, not knowing what place they'd call home if ever again. I found I was captivated by the dialect of Beggar Charlie as well as the plight of the young boy Tang whose father is murdered. Madeleine McLaughlin's writing is superb.
Suzanne Demontigny

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