Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner

Middle Grade Author Shannon Whitney Messenger began Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays a while back. If you love middle grade literature, check out her blog for a list of other sites featuring MG books.

Today I’ll talk about Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner by Dalya Moon.

From Goodreads: It’s 1988, and Charlie Woodchuck is the most minor of niners. At thirteen, she’s the youngest girl at Snowy Cove High School, and so clueless, she wore leg warmers and acid-wash jeans on her first day. Big mistake! Almost as big a mistake as signing up for a boys-only shop class. Doy.

Just when she thinks the first week of high school can’t get any more weird, Charlie discovers she may be adopted. According to her Science textbook, her eyes should be blue, not brown.

Now the girl with the boy’s name will have to use her detective skills to uncover the mystery of her identity. She’ll need the help of best friend Stacy, expert blackmailer, and new friend Ross, expert class clown.

Before the year ends, Charlie will face down the biggest bullies of all: the all-powerful members of Snowy Cove’s School Board. The Board doesn’t like what Charlie’s been up to, and they’re all out of doughnuts.

From Vicki: Not sure why this was set in 1988, which is when I went to high school. (Oops, did I really say that out loud?) It wasn’t necessary to the story except that certain classes were only for girls or boys. I don’t remember that situation in my high school, but there’s a lot I don’t remember from those days, despite having been a goodie-goodie. (Oops, there I go again, ruining my exciting, world-weary reputation.)

Anyway, that aside, this was a heart-warming and well-told story. The ‘80’s details were subtle and didn’t detract in any way. Charlie was an easy-to-like main character trying to find herself in a more literal way than usual, in a situation providing some mystery elements. I do appreciate some mystery.

Dalya Moon self-published this (and a few others, I’ve noticed) and apparently, she did it the right way. Definitely worth a look.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner

  1. Leslie Rose

    This book sounds charming. Love the twist of her adoption being suspected through a science lesson.

  2. Sounds good. I too went to high school around then. I admit it!! But emotionally I’m still 15. 😀

  3. I love that she gets clues via her science class too. That hooked me right away. 🙂

  4. Sounds like an interesting mystery. And self-published too? Cool!

  5. Oh, sounds like a cute read! I have a book set in 1988 (when I graduated college, mind-you) but it’s because I needed it set before the ‘wall fell’–needed the communist countries closed…

  6. pendragonwriter

    I graduated in 1988!!! See I just dated myself, too. This is why I am always a sucker for movies set in the 80’s – love all the memories! (Well, some of them make me cringe, too. But in a happy sort of way). – Margo

  7. Ha! Dated yourself, yet still able to enjoy a good YA. See, no worries. Sounds like a very interesting story. Think my daughter would like this one?

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