I did not realize that I haven't posted anything since January! This is quite crazy and a lot has happened in the last seven months! BUT I did just finish a book (the first one in quite awhile) and I am supposed to review it so here goes nothing...
The book I read is called the Charlatan's Boy by Johnathan Rogers. I had chosen to review this book because everyone just raved about how it was SOOOO good! I'll admit, I was really excited when it came in the mail and even though I didn't really have the time, I read a few pages every night. It was not at all what I expected! Unfortunately the story did not grab my attention right away and I found it hard to follow because it was taking place in a foreign land that does not exist. When I read books, I like to be able to imagine my self taking a vacation to that place or being in the charachters shoes. This was not a story where I could do that.
If you like a good book about make-believe, then I suggest you read this book. It is very well written but just not my style.
I wish I could even give a summary but I just don't even know how to explain it. So if you would like to know what the book is about I suggest you look up the title on www.cbd.com. I hope this review was at least a little bit helpful in deciding whether or not it is the right book for you!
I received a copy of this book for from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my review
If you have ever struggled with who you are, with what it means to be you, then reading this story will capture your imagination. A young boy who doesn't know his past is being raised by a Ã¢â¬Ëcharlatan' who goes from village to village in an imaginary country to earn money by conning people into hearing tales of mythical creatures or having their futures told.
When the charlatan comes up with a plan to create the ultimate scam, a new series of adventures begin so that the rewards will be greater than any they have had before. But as the orphan Grady seeks to please the professor, he struggles with bigger issues - who he is, how he matters, and whether or not the things they do are morally correct.
The story is fanciful and fun, and it would be a great read especially for younger readers - perhaps in the 9-13 year old range. There are elements of adventure and surprise along with interesting characters, and even a touch of youthful infatuation. I enjoyed it, certainly, and I can think of several young people who would enjoy some of its silliness, even while they learned something from its message.
I wouldn't want to spoil the story, so I won't say much about the climax or ending, but I thought it was a little unpredictable. Not so much that a young person would be completely taken off guard by it, but enough so that it made the rest of the story much more interesting and colorful. In the long run, there is no overt spiritual message - no prayerful moments or scripture are directly quoted. However, the idea that each of us is a spiritual orphan, spending our lives looking for the truth of who we are as a creation of God, is woven carefully in this story. It's subtle, but it's definitely part of the story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
"I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud."
I just finished The Charlatan's Boy, a funny, heart-twinging adventure by Jonathan Rogers. The story follows Grady, a 12 year old orphan who for as long as he can remember has traveled with Floyd, a traveling "showman", or con-man. Floyd passes himself off as an adventurer, a "perfesser", a phrenologist reading head bumps, and is just this side of a snake-oil salesman. He has spent years passing off Grady as a captured member of a race of mysterious swamp-dwelling, wild-man, "feechie folk", due to the boy's ugly appearance. But townspeople no longer believe in the wild feechie folk, so Floyd is going to stir up an elaborate "Feechie Scare" to get back in business.
Grady has always fully inhabited his role as a feechie, but in between performances he longs to know who he really is, and where he can fully belong. Floyd has no love for him, but where else is the boy to go? While traveling the back roads and drumming up a feechie scare (so Floyd can be paid for his expertise in handling the feechie problem), Grady meets a colorful cast of characters and tries to figure out who he is. Sometimes he almost convinces himself he's more than just an ugly boy, and that someday someone will accept him.
The book is at times funny, sweet, frustrating, sad and ultimately satisfying. I received a complimentary copy of The Charlatan's Boy for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group
Orphan Grady knew one truth in his life, he was the charlatan's boy. The charlatan was Floyd Wendellson. Floyd was a huckster, a true fraud and a liar. He and Grady did the feechie show for many years. Floyd told all about the legendary feechiefolk, while Grady played the part of a feechie. Some really thought Grady was a he-feechie. But people were no longer afraid of the feechies and didn't believe Floyd's stories anymore. So Floyd and Grady went from village to village using one scheme after another, swindling people out of their money, all the time longing to revive the feechie show.
Grady was tired of his lifestyle of living lies. He wanted to find his family, to know who he was. Every time he asked Floyd where he came from, he got told a different story. When Grady went to a village, he searched for someone who was as ugly as he was that could be his family. He also missed playing the feechie, it had been a part of him for so long. Floyd cooked up a plan to start a feechie scare, to get people talking about feechies again. Then they could revive their feechie show.
Does Grady ever get to be a feechie again? Does he ever find out the truth about his family? Read The Charlatan's Boy to discover what becomes of Grady, Floyd, and their travelling show.
This story is set in a time period when people went around making money from villagers using shell games, fortune telling, juggling acts, and such. The characters have an interesting dialect - very bad English. Grady is a likable character with a good heart, Floyd is not. As I was reading through the book, I found myself wishing for Grady to make a better life for himself and finally belong to someone. The author made up names and words that make for an interesting and different type of story. If you want to read a book that is nothing like your favorite genre, I would recommend this one.
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for my honest review.
The Charlatan's Boy, by Jonathan Rogers, has a cast of characters as colorful as a box of crayons! Grady is a good hearted young orphan who longs to discover where he came from. All he has ever known is a life traveling with Floyd, a self centered con-man, and Floyd refuses to give him a straight answer on the matter. Their story is quite unique and unlike any I have ever read before. Grady watches people in earnest, ever searching for a place to fit in and, more importantly, the parents that he believes he has lost. Along their journey you'll meet the Ugliest Boy in the World (and proud of it!), an 82 year old woman who looks like she is 20, Ten Finger Walter, the phrenologist (reads people's personalities through the bumps in their skull) and more.
The Charlatan's Boy is a wonderful combination of Robin Hood, Lord of the Rings and Huckleberry Finn. Follow along with Grady and Floyd as they travel through the Corenwald frontier "educating" townspeople about the wild Feechie Folk. Are they real? Every day is a new adventure but you never know exactly who you can trust. I enjoyed this book but felt that it began to drag a bit near the end. I was anxious to see how it would end so perhaps I was just in a hurry to find out what would happen. I do feel that it would be a great read aloud for the whole family!
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*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.*