Review: Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner by Dalya Moon

Charlie Woodchuck is the most minor of niners. 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. 

Just when she thinks the first week of high school can't get any weirder, Charlie discovers she may be adopted. According to the genetics section in her Science textbook, her eyes should be blue, not brown. 

Before she graduates from the ninth grade, the girl with the boy's name and the wrong eye color will have to use her detective skills to discover her true identity. She'll use power tools to build fantastical wood creations, and before the year ends, she'll have to face down the biggest bullies of all: the all-powerful members of Snowy Cove’s School Board.

Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner is a really quick read, but totally entertaining nonetheless. 

While this is a middle grade slice-of-life book, the tone is completely different. This book is set in the 1980s and so there is no reference to internet and phones, something that you see a lot of in modern day contemporary books. For me, as a noughties teen through and through, this was a bit of a culture shock, but it just made it totally fresh and original and the story itself is modern even if the setting isn't.

What I totally loved about Charlie Woodchuck is a Minor Niner was Charlie. I think that she is one of the most relateable protahonists I have read in a long time because I totally remember being just like her when I was fourteen years old, nerdy, rebellious and totally socially awkward so I totally got Charlie's reactions and behaviour, which made this book all the better for me. I can also relate to her feelings because she goes through a lot of the things most kids go through at that age - new school, bullying, meeting new friends and losing old friends as well as her own personal problems, which make this book deep but also very entertaining.

This book runs just like any other middle grade book, with the ordinary everyday events mixed in with crazy moments which have you laughing, a particular favorite was Charlie's ride in the doghouse to the board meeting (hah, got you interested now, haven't I?) and that had me laughing like crazy. I also loved the puppy love budding between Charlie and class clown Ross, they were adorable!

While there were some tiny issues, for example I found that the scenes switched too fast and it was all a bit rapid to me, I found this book to be a short, sweet and totally entertaining read. I would recommend it to the kids of the 70/80s and their kids as well!

Overall rating: B+

Book obtained via: Received from the author

1 comment

  1. sounds interesting! I might look this one up! I'm a noughties teen too though so I reckon it'll be a bit of a culture shock for me as well!


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