Work Title: Charlotte Bakeman Has Her Say
Work Author(s): Mary E. Finger, author; Kimberly Rose Batti, illustrator
Little Pear Press
19 b/w illustrations, 96 pages, Hardcover $16.00
Reviewer: Robin Farrell Edmunds
It's the fall semester of her sixth grade year and Charlotte Bakeman contemplates her relationship with her best friend: "We liked to be together. I think maybe it was because we sort of balanced one another. Francie gave me courage to try new things, and I slowed her down sometimes when she got carried away with a silly idea." The 1930s outside world intrudes on their small town New Hampshire lives in the form of the Depression.
It's a period of awakening for the shy Charlotte, who makes some new friends---her pesky, but talented classmate Leona Fontaine, and the down-on-his luck, but voice of wisdom Armand Boudreau. Prejudices threaten Charlotte's secure surroundings, and readers will identify with emotions of anger, jealousy, pity, bewilderment, and finally, courage.
Finger, who studied at Radcliffe and served as an editor at Harvard University Press, taught Children's Literature for twenty-five years at Roger Williams College. The illustrator, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, has captured the awkwardness and innocence of this era.
There is a fair...