The Charlatan’s Boy
As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.
It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.
When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders’ belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd’s Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan’s Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life—and will change his path forever.
Comments & Reviews
I read this book several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it would be a fun book to read aloud to children and I wasn’t disappointed. The third graders that I read to loved Grady and were very upset when Floyd mistreated him. The ending was a lovely surprise and I’m looking forward to hearing more of Grady’s adventures.
Finally got around to reading The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers. I’d never read or heard of Rogers prior to the Rabbit Room and never read any of his novels. I am happy to say I really enjoyed it. One of the things I like most about this book is the fact that the story is told in the first person. A deep, insightful boy named Grady who only wants to know who he is and where he comes from. He makes due with what he knows and does not feel the same sense of sadness & loss that the reader feels for him. Great storytelling.
It did take a little while for me to get into the story, but once I did I couldn’t put it down. I think knowing that the story would be a great read for pre teens and teens, I would have been prepared to engage the story earlier.
I can’t wait for the sequel and starting the Wilderking Trilogy!
I read Jonathan Rogers’ Wilderking Trilogy at the beach last summer (2010), and by the end of it I was a Rogers fan. Corenwald and it’s inhabitants were so well fleshed out that it felt like I was reading a history book about real people. I was excited to read his latest book, The Charlatan’s Boy, and it did not disappoint.
We’re taken back to familiar places in Corenwald, and once again the world feels alive. I literally felt like I was riding along with Grady and Floyd while they went from town to town with their latest scam to make a little money. From meeting cattle drovers to trying to one-up other scam artists, the whole book was great fun. It’s funny and heartwarming and at times very sad and tragic. But by the book’s end I was wishing book 2 was already available.
If you’re a fan of young adult fiction along the lines of Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga, or you just need something lighthearted, touching and fun, The Charlatan’s Boy is the perfect read.
This is the first J. Roger’s book I have read (It won’t be the last). It was an unexpected experience… I wasn’t sure what a Charlatan was, and I certainly hadn’t heard of a Feechie. As the story unfolded, I found myself being drawn into the tale deeper and deeper. Although I wasn’t sure where the story was going, I had a sense that where I was being led would be worth every turn. The ending was more than what I could have forseen coming and I was thankful for the journey and rejoiced along with the characters in the end. I am glad the the story will contine in another book and I look forward to reading the next installment of a Feechie tale.
- Award Nominee The Christy Award 2011
- Recommended for Ages 10 and older