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By Donna Seim,
Illustrated by Susan Spellman

Winner of the 2015 Literary Classics Eloquent Quill Award!

Charley, a street-smart city boy, can toss a rat by its tail into the Boston Harbor, but has no clue how to pluck an egg away from an angry chicken, let alone milk a cantankerous cow!

  • Children ages eight to twelve years will revel in the antics of the saucy characters in this historical fiction!
  • Universal themes of love, abandonment, sibling separation, rivalry, prejudice, rejection, and belonging.
  • Delightful illustrations throughout.
  • Invites discussion of moral dilemmas and challenges; a great teaching tool.

Charley is based on the true story of a twelve-year-old boy living in Boston in 1910. Suffering from abandonment he winds up on the steps of an orphanage. Charley, blessed with a beautiful voice, joins the traveling choir. When his hopes are all but dashed, he sings his way into a family in rural Maine.

Praise for Charley. . .

“Seim captures the world of orphans and foster children of early twentieth century America. It is hard not to fall in love with Charley, a child from the city streets of Boston…living with a foster family on a farm in Maine…a story of courage and resilience… A must read for all children trying to envision the past, an excellent history primer.”
Lawrence Yerdon, President and CEO, Strawbery Banke Museum

Praise for Seim and Spellman. . .

“Author Donna Seim and Illustrator Susan Spellman are a perfect team!”
Mac Gimse, Professor Emeritus of Art, St. Olaf College for Satchi and Little Star

About the Author and the Illustrator

Charley is Donna Seim’s second young adult novel. Her first novel, Hurricane Mia, was praised as “a 5 star young reader’s book that should be in every library, every classroom, and every home,” by Readers Favorite Book Reviews. Donna is also the author of two award-winning picture books, Where is Simon, Sandy? and Satchi and Little Star. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Ohio State University and a Master’s in Special Education from Lesley University. Donna lives in Newbury, Massachusetts. Susan Spellman lives and paints in Newburyport, Massachusetts. She has illustrated all of Donna’s titles and more than twenty-five others.

Ordering Information

$14.95, 208 pgs, Paperback, 5.5" x 8", ISBN 978-1-937721-10-7
Author Website:


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