"Curtis's books occupy that all too rare space in middle grade lit; they're school curriculum standbys that are also crowd pleasers... Curtis's ninth novel is among his most suspenseful... Curtis is also a master at shifting tones -- and so for every nail-biting moment, there's a note of goofy joy or slapstick humor... 'Little Charlie' is a keeper: Raised in poverty, ignorance, and racism, Charlie develops his own moral compass -- and becomes brave enough to act on it." -- New York Times Book Review
* "Curtis portrays Charlie as a product of his white Southern upbringing and values, skillfully conveying how his widening view of the world leads to a change in his thinking. Written in persuasive dialect and piloted by a hero who finds the courage to do what he knows is right, Curtis's unsparing novel pulls no punches as it illuminates an ugly chapter of American history." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Newbery winner Curtis once again successfully draws on the stories about enslaved people who found freedom in Canada... A characteristically lively and complex addition to the historical fiction of the era from Curtis." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "A thought-provoking book from a master storyteller." -- School Library Journal, starred review
Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His sharecropper father just died and Cap'n Buck -- the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, South Carolina -- has come to collect a debt. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal with Cap'n Buck and agrees to track down some folks accused of stealing from the cap'n and his boss. It's not too bad of a bargain for Charlie... until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers their true identities. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure out his next move -- and soon. It's only a matter of time before Cap'n Buck catches on.