From Charlie's Point of View

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Overview

Best friends Bernadette and Charlie begin seventh grade and help unravel the mysterious case of the Stocking Bandit.

Best friends Bernadette and Charlie begin seventh grade and help unravel the mysterious case of the Stocking Bandit.

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Overview

Best friends Bernadette and Charlie begin seventh grade and help unravel the mysterious case of the Stocking Bandit.

Best friends Bernadette and Charlie begin seventh grade and help unravel the mysterious case of the Stocking Bandit.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Canadian author Scrimger (The Nose from Jupiter) makes his U.S. debut with this stylized mystery laced with humor, centering on Charlie, a perceptive, blind 14-year-old, whose feisty best friend, Bernadette, willingly acts as his eyes. The novel's third-person narrative unfolds in theatrical scenes and constantly shifts perspectives, yet the primary player is Charlie, whose "point of view depends mostly on hearing, touch, smell, and imagination." As he and Bernadette ride the bus on their first day of school, she spies a person in a stocking mask running out of a bank. Could it be the Stocking Bandit who has been robbing cash machines throughout the summer? Their tardy, slick teacher explains "there was a holdup" and later, while giving his students a writing assignment, urges them to "Learn to lie!" Thus the author plants the clues to his guilt. Yet when Charlie's father is accused of being the Stocking Bandit and the boy, Bernadette and a likeable, rather nerdy classmate set out to find the real culprit, his identity appears to be someone other than the smooth-talking teacher. Scrimger fills his plot with creative cues, clues and coincidences (the latter involving a guardian angel-type character) and adds some affecting scenes with the three youngsters' families. But a surfeit of extraneous detail and protracted conversation diffuse the suspense. Readers will nonetheless find the finale worth the wait, as the author satisfactorily ties together the story's strands as the curtain falls. Ages 10-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Life is pretty dark for Charlie. He is blind, and his dad has just been arrested for a crime he didn't commit. Now, with the help of his friends Bernadette and Lewis, Charlie is determined to find the real Stocking Bandit-a masked man who has been robbing banks up and down their metropolitan city. In addition to solving a crime that the police think is a wrap, the teenagers must deal with a bully in their seventh-grade class. Despite the serious subject matter, the book elicits plenty of laughs with main characters who are smart, funny, and likable. Fate also seems to take a liking to them, in the form of a classmate named Gideon who mysteriously shows up at just the right times to save the trio from certain doom. Aside from the occasional supernatural element, the scenes involving bullying and imperfect parents are refreshingly realistic and hold plenty for readers to relate to. Fascinating details that often go unnoticed by the ordinary observer are included throughout much of the story, since "Charlie's point of view depends mostly on hearing and feeling." To assist in conveying his visual limitation, the text is punctuated with illustrations of what Charlie sees at critical moments-all black pages. With a fast-paced plot, witty dialogue, and compelling characters, this mystery is riveting all the way to its exciting and surprising conclusion.-Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525473749
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Scrimger is the award-winning author of eight novels for young readers, three picture books, and three books for adults. Columns detailing Richard’s adventures in parenthood have been published in The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, and Today’s Parent. His first children’s novel, The Nose from Jupiter, won the 10th Annual Mr. Christie’s Book Award. His first adult novel, Crosstown, was shortlisted for the City of Toronto Book Award. He and his family live in Cobourg, Ontario.
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