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Beggar Charlie [Kindle Edition]

Madeleine McLaughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After his mother dies, Beggar Charlie finds himself alone, begging for bread. Life doesn't get any better when he is press-ganged. His only hope is the captain of the merchant ship who takes a liking to him.

When the ship docks in China, Charlie is sent ashore with Hickory Dick, a boy he mistrusts. A rebellion foments, and in horror, Charlie watches as the merchant ship sinks when some Chinese men set it on fire. Whatever will Beggar Charlie and Hickory Dick do?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3602 KB
  • Print Length: 85 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (10 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KXH9F60
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,017,541 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Beggar Charlie chronicles the adventures of a 12-year-old orphan and his 15-year-old shipmate when they are given a day to wander in Shanghai.

They meet up with Tang, a young Chinese boy who speaks English and befriends them, inviting them to his home. Arriving at his home however, they find Tang’s father murdered, leaving Tang an orphan just like Charlie and Dick. They decide to return to their ship and bring Tang with them. They see it overtaken by the Chinese and sunk while in port. Charlie sees the Captain fall overboard with several Chinese with knives landing on top of him. Thinking the captain is dead, the ship sunk and the crew scattered, the boys must figure out what to do.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this novel that surprised me. These twists did not seem contrived or too coincidental, but flowed naturally as part of the story, yet were unexpected.

The characters of the three boys developed immensely throughout the book. Each one developed loyalty towards the others; they came to understand that a sense of family and friendship comes from shared experiences and caring for one another. Charlie became more self-confident, Dick more self-assured and mature and Tang a little more world-wise.

Beggar Charlie is written from the first person point of view in Charlie’s voice. His English is old English so readers will need to be aware of that. This gives a greater feel of authenticity to the book for the era of 200 years ago in which the book is set.

I liked the pacing of the story. It was a comfortable speed, and the book was not all that long, just 79 pages. Beggar Charlie was a very engaging read and showed the development of friendship and family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book. 5 July 2014
This is a superb book. Aimed at readers aged between about 8 and 12 years, it is pitched perfectly. The lead character is himself about that age, and we see everything through his eyes. There's enough adventure to satisfy but nothing to give nightmares, the characters are rich and well drawn, and the descriptions of China and the people the boys encounter there are wonderful.

There was only one thing that made me frown and it may be me that is in error. When talking about trading in opium, all the characters saw those that did so as evil and shameful. In the twenty first century, of course, that is right, but I did wonder if it would also be the case at the time the book is set. Had I been asked, I would have said I thought they would be unbothered, seeing it as just another commodity. But, as i say, I may be wrong. My knowledge of that time and place is sketchy, to say the least.

That aside, I found myself gripped by Beggar Charlie's adventures. I will definitely be looking out for more of Ms McLaughlin's work
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter the World of Madeleine McLaughlin - You won't Regret It 20 Jun. 2014
By unicorngirl - Published on Amazon.com
I was immediately snatched into the world of Madeleine McLaughlin's Beggar Charlie where a boy is sent ashore during an uprising in China two centuries ago. I followed beggar Charlie and his two friends as they fought to escape the rebels, traveling far up river struggling to save their lives, not knowing what place they'd call home if ever again. I found I was captivated by the dialect of Beggar Charlie as well as the plight of the young boy Tang whose father is murdered. Madeleine McLaughlin's writing is superb.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Short Read 30 July 2014
By Lady Bug Lin - Published on Amazon.com
Beggar Charlie, by Madeleine McLaughlin, a Tween adventure available from MuseItUp publishing is a short story set in a time frame when children were not cherished, and life is not all that valued.

Orphaned when he woke to find his mother had died beside him somewhere throughout the night, Charlie is sold into the sailing life under Captain Butler, a man who keeps him close against the river rats that would set upon the boy without a second thought. Living at sea is a brutal life under the best of times, but when you are barely as high as a knee cap and you're grieving your mother, it can be terrifying.

Captain Butler sails them to China, gifts him and the next oldest boy Hickory Dick the first shore time...but the China shores are in unrest and the people, many of them addicted to the vagaries of Opium, angry.

Walking the streets of this strange land where people speak "China-talk" they find a native lad Tang who invites the boys to his father's house for some hospitality. What they find will bring three lads together to brave the world as they seek refuge somewhere for them to live out their childhoods together.

Leaving the house of violent death, Tang now a part of their little unit watch the captain tossed overboard and the ship...sink.

The three boys set off, watching each other's back heading for Tang's aunt in Shanghai and the hope of a future three boys can share and find comfort in.

Family, they learn, can come from those not attached to you by blood. Some comes through shared experience, shared concern for making it through times no longer anything remotely like what they expected.

This is a beautiful, touching story about courage in the face of terrible necessity, and opening your heart, soul, and beliefs to those who might be strangers but are more important to you now that you have survived so much, than the very breath you breathe.

This is a powerful short story I cannot recommend highly enough.

In a time where we look at others and call them names because we have nothing important to otherwise focus our inner powers on, I found this a story that any and every teacher should make required reading.

Well Dome Ms. McLaughlin

FIVE STARS easily..wish I could give it more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure 15 Jun. 2014
By Edith - Published on Amazon.com
Another great story by the author of The Mountain City Bronzes. Madeleine McLaughlin weaves a captivating adventure sending her young English heros into the foreign world of China, where they find friends and encounter enemies and learn quite a few lessons about life. I strongly recommend this story for young and old.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great action-packed historical book 16 Aug. 2014
By Antje Hergt - Published on Amazon.com
What a great and interesting historical book for children. I love the first person narrator, such a realistic and likable character. The twists and turns of his adventure keeps you glued to the pages.
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