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Review: The Book of Charlie – Jerome Mark Antil


The Book of Charlie – Jerome Mark Antil

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Title: The Book of Charlie

Author: Jerome Mark Antil

Release Date: March 27, 2014

Publisher: Little York Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 302

Source: Sent by author

It’s a coming of age story beginning with a summer vacation, climaxing on a full moonlit Halloween night. They’re teens now – and their club president, Mary Crane, decides to follow her teacher’s suggestion of getting a Pen Pal for the summer. She writes to a boy her mother had read about in the newspaper – a Pennsylvania lad. He writes back. As the summer unfolds one of the teens is witness to a crime in progress. Innocently the young Pen Pal to the club’s president unwittingly helps them not only solve the mystery of just who the crooks are but they also solve what turns out to be an unresolved military mystery dating back to the War and still lingering in the shadows of the D-Day invasion. Was it coincidence that Mary’s Pen Pal just happens to be a grandson of the president of the United States? It’s more than a Halloween story, it’s a history book. It might be to today’s chronicles of the past what Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was in 1884. With a backdrop of rural life and times as they were in 1953 this novel reawakens our faded memory and colorfully illustrates two vanishing landmarks, both epics of an American culture and world history. The family farm for one and sad as it may be, the fleeting memories of the pivotal D-Day Invasion under Supreme Commander General Dwight David Eisenhower – the other. Without either we could have lost the War. This novel brings them both back to life in absorbing detail – it’s a fable with a solid footing of the times for the tale’s lasting cultural relevance. It all happened amidst five country towns, a few villages and hamlets where more than sixty five family farms were busy raising children, apples, corn, and wheat, and – all told – milking about 3,200 cows.

3 out of 5 stars

Plot:

This book starts out by introducing Charlie. Charlie is the farmer who was best friends with Jerry in the previous book. Charlie is an angel in this book and tells the story through his perspective. Jerry gets a job at a hotel and smashes bottles and wet mops the floors with scalding hot water. He brings the crushed bottles up on an elevator to an alley behind the hotel. He brings the glass up and sees a young boy. He tries to talk to the boy for many days, even gives him some food, and finally the boy responds to Jerry. Jerry asks him his name; the boy says Bobby. Bobby tells Jerry that his dad is in jail and his mother is dead. Bobby ran away from an orphanage and is hiding until his dad gets out of jail. Jerry comes up with a plan to take the boy and keep him safe. Jerry has his older brother pick him and Bobby up from the hotel. They go to Jerry’s house and Bobby gets settled. Jerry and his best friend, Holbrook, see some sketchy men smoking under a bridge. The team of two try and come up with a plan to catch the crooks who they had witnessed stealing items from around the area. Will the catch the crooks? What happens with Bobby? I got this book for review from Jerome Mark Antil. Huge thank you to him :) Anyway, the writing tense was so odd in this book because the perspective changed from person to person without warning. It switched between Charlie, Jerry, and Dick, Jerry’s older brother. It was distracting. I liked the story line after I got into it, but it just took me a really long time to read.

Characters:

Jerry was the main character for the first half of the book and Dick was the main character for the second half. Again, the switching perspectives bothered me, but the new characters in this book were just so sweet and heartwarming. The new girls were my favorites from this book. I also like Mary because she was the main girl from both this book and The Pompey Hollow Book Club.

Who Would I Be?:

I would be Mary just like from TPHBC. She’s so sweet and such a well rounded character. She has a pen-pal, I have a pen-pal. She likes to read, I like to read. We have a lot in common and are very similar. She’s one of my favorite characters from the book.

*Huge thank you to Jerome Mark Antil! I really enjoyed having the opportunity to read your book!*

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Review: The Pompey Hollow Book Club – Jerome Mark Antil


The Pompey Hollow Book Club – Jerome Mark Antil

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Title: The Pompey Hollow Book Club

Author: Jerome Mark Antil

Release Date: December 7, 2011

Publisher: Little York Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 288

Source: Sent for review via author

A Novel First Edition “Mark Twain meets the Greatest Generation!The Pompey Hollow Book Club is the best kind of novel: charming, but with teeth. The narration exudes an experienced innocence with characters at once empathic and courageous. One might be tempted to call its setting a bygone era had this era not fashioned our world… this work moved me deeply.” –Stuart Horwitz, Book Architecture

3 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Jerry Antil is just a young boy at the beginning of this book. He lives with his dad, his mom, his brothers, Dick and Mike, and his beagle-cocker spaniel mix. Jerry is the youngest of all the brothers and Mike is the oldest. The Antil family moves into a new home in Delphi Falls from Cortland, New York. Jerry thinks he will hate living in the country, but his mom tells him one morning to go over to Farmer Parker’s house to collect some chicken eggs. Jerry watches Farmer Parker milk the cows after he calls them into the barn and then the farmer shoes the young boy how to get eggs from the chickens. Jerry thanks the farmer then heads home. Jerry goes exploring and finds that there are waterfalls in the woods right behind his house. He continues to explore and familarize himself with the woods. Jerry and Dick begin school and Jerry gets new friends that he sits with at lunch every day. Holbrook is his best friend and he introduces him to Mary and Barber who all start The Pompey Hollow Book Club, but this book club isn’t for reading. This club is for secret meetings to figure out plans for ten-year-old problems. Jerome Mark Antil contacted me and asked if I would read his books, The Pompey Hollow Book Club and The Book of Charlie. I was skeptical about starting this book because it takes place after the war, but I was pleasantly surprised. I honestly wasn’t expecting to like this book, but I did. This book was full of adventure and it was a really cute coming of age story.

Characters:

There were so many characters in this book, but they weren’t hard to keep straight. Jerry and Mary and Holbrook were my favorites, though. Mary was basically the only girl in this book and Holbrook was Jerry’s best friend. Mary was so sweet and so smart for being only 10 or 11. Holbrook was just a goofy best friend. I really enjoyed all the characters.

Who Would I Be?:

I would choose Mary without a doubt. She is so cute and thought everything through. She got to be part of the club and it was adorable how she went about some things. I really loved Mary in this book.

Huge thanks to Jerome Mark Antil for sending me this book!

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