Launching a new series, this zany adventure takes as its premise that it is the journal of an eight-year-old boy who has stopped aging; it has washed up on a riverbank in England and been found by the publishers. Supplemented by often funny b&w sketches, the account begins as the narrator, who claims to be at least 400 years old, sets off on a homemade raft. Forget about Huck Finn-Charlie Small gets thrown from his raft, only to land on the back of a crocodile, and then to tumble with it over a waterfall into a dark jungle. Encounters with mechanical rhinos, hyenas and snakes follow before Charlie reaches the titular gorilla city, where he is first held captive and later proclaimed chief. Boys of a certain sensibility will cotton to the humor: offered the hairy hand of a gorilla in marriage, Charlie protests, "I'm much too young to get married! Especially to someone with armpit hair as long as my leg!" The caper ends as Charlie touches down on an island inhabited by "terrible bloodthirsty renegade pirates"-all women, leading right into The Perfumed Pirates of Perfidy, due the same month. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gorilla City (Charlie Small Series #1)by Charlie Small, Nick Ward
No one knows the full story of Charlie Small. At least, not yet. His battered journal was found washed up on a remote, windswept shore. And at first we thought it an elaborate hoax. Surely no 8-year-old could have had so many wild adventures, witnessed so many extraordinary things, lived such an incredible life–and still only be eight. And yet . . . there was something so vivid in the telling that we were persuaded to send the journal and some of its boggling content for analysis. And only one conclusion could be drawn. Everything in the journal of Charlie Small is true! In his first adventure, Gorilla City, Charlie wrestles a deadly river croc, rides a steam-powered rhino, and becomes tribal chief in a city of gorillas.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
It was an ordinary afternoon when Charlie Small took his raft down the river, at least until a terrible storm pushed Charlie into an adventure he has always wanted. While exploring foreign territory, he encounters many creatures. Some become friends that risk their lives for him, while others are dangerous enemies. He befriends a metal rhinoceros, becomes king of the gorillas, and escapes hyenas and a snake. He also keeps running into a very angry dethroned gorilla. Charlie keeps calm and uses his skills of observation and a few precious tools from his bag to help him try to navigate his way home. This book is Charlie's journal about finally getting the chance to be an explorer. It is complete with drawings, smudges, maps, diagrams, and worn page edges documenting his adventures. This is the first book in "The Amazing Adventures of Charlie Small" series. There are some British words, such as "trainers" and "rucksack." There is so much to look at on each page that, while Charlie's adventures should keep you interested, if they do not, the page designs will. This is a good book to use when discussing independence and courage. Reviewer: Renee Farrah
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Charlie Small: Gorilla City
3.5 out of 5 stars
Charlie Small is a computer-game-playing, not-cleaning-his-room, has-fun-exploring-outside eight-year-old boy living by Lancashire, England. One day, he decides to pick up his backpack and explore once more. When he paddles down the river on his raft, he encounters a crocodile. After the fight, he realizes he doesn¿t know where he is! He meets a friendly, mechanical rhino, almost gets eaten by hungry hyenas, attacked by a giant, poisonous snake, and becomes the king of a gorilla city. All the while, collecting evidence to prove his story when he arrives home and recording his many adventures in his journal, which washes up later on the banks of river Wyre.
The First Amazing, Astonishing, Incredible, and True Adventures of Me, Charlie Small: Gorilla City was a fun quick read that gave me a brake from all of those long, slow-moving novels. The whole time I was reading it, I had a cartoon playing in my head, which made me realize that it actually would be a fun cartoon to watch on television! You can tell that it was written for younger children, but I think some may have trouble following the storyline. I recommend it to all young, adventurous boys who love the outdoors, for they might enjoy it the most. Charlie has a wonderful sense of humor any young boy would recognize.