Title: Old CharlieOld Charlie
Author: Clyde Robert Bulla
Illustrator: Paul Galdone
Pages: 81
Reading Level: 7-8
Star Rating: ★★

Bruce and Pinky Todd are bored most of the time. Their mother is dead and their father works all the time, and Bruce and Pinky have to keep themselves occupied. Which means they often end up squirting each other with the garden hose and getting fussed at by Mrs. Diggle, who lives next door and likes to snoop on them.

One day, on one of his off days, Mr. Todd offers to take the boys for a ride in the country. While out, the boys ask to stop at the camp where Bruce spent a few summers so that they can see Old Charlie, a friendly horse, again. The boys are devastated to learn that Old Charile is doomed to be slaughtered – unless they can scrape together twenty dollars to buy him themselves! But how can the boys even begin to earn that much money? And in such a short amount of time?

Conclusion. So-so; the story felt fairly contrived and ended in a deus ex machina rescue, instead of through the protagonist’s application of brain. Read Bulla’s other stories Pirate’s Promise, The Sword In the Tree, The Ghost of Windy Hollow, Riding the Pony Express, and even Three Dollar Mule before reading this one.

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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