Charlie Pippin

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9780027263503: Charlie Pippin

Spunky eleven-year-old Charlie hopes to understand her rigid father by finding out everything she can about the Vietnam War, the war that let him survive but killed his dreams.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8 On one front, this is a novel about a sixth-grade girl's social studies project and her inability to get along with her father, but on another level it is about the much larger issue of dreams shattered and lost. In it, Boyd examines the perceptions that young people may have of the Vietnam War, as well as the impact that the war and the homefront divisiveness of the war era continue to have on families, especially those in which there are veterans. Chartreuse ``Charlie'' Pippin is an 11-year-old black girl living in Berkeley, California. Not much seems to go right for her. She is a hardworking, successful businesswoman cut from the same delightful, rebellious cloth as her grandmother, but her entrepreneurial skills cause her problems with both her father and school authorities. Her decision to learn about the Vietnam War as a school report only leads to further conflict with her father, who refuses to discuss the war. The domestic resolution is in keeping with the larger issue of the war: it is not so much a peace settlement as a cease fire. Charlie and her friends are finely drawn. Some of the adult characters, however, are perilously close to becoming stereotypes, especially the father and school principal, both of whom seem unusually stern and inflexible. On the whole, Charlie Pippin is a good novel about vital people and important issues. Jerry Flack, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Chartreuse (Charlie) is convinced that her authoritarian father hates her because he always yells at her. So, she is shocked to learn from her grandmother, Mama Bliss, that Mr. Pippin was a "rebel" too at her age. For a class project, Charlie elects to study the Vietnam War, which her father always refuses to discuss with her. More surprises come when Charlie finds out that Mr. Pippin was a war hero. Despite her father's antagonism, Charlie researches the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. Along the way, she learns that individualsincluding childrencan make a difference if they speak out. At the story's emotional ending, Charlie makes peace with her father, and he makes peace with his ghosts from the war. A strong black protagonist makes this a rare YA book; the finesse with which Boyd ties its many themes into a very moving, unified whole turns this into a stellar offering. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (1987)
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