The second Newbery Award honoree (1991) novel that the eighth grade class at our school reads is Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. The teacher with whom I share a portion of the eighth grade class has set out five or six novels in chronological order according to setting time. This novel is set around the 1830's.
My students really enjoyed this novel. It was full of action and suspense. They loved trying to figure out who Charlotte, the 13-year-old main character, could trust and who she could not trust. In fact, we had a post-it note chart with each character's name. Every few chapters we would reevaluate where to post a name: under "Trust" or "Don't Trust" columns. We also made paper representations of the crew and gave them new titles and/or moved them off the ship to coincide with the novel.
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