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Customer Reviews for WaterBrook Press The Charlatan's Boy

WaterBrook Press 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.

Average Customer Rating:
4.179 out of 5
4.2
 out of 
5
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22 out of 2879%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Charlatan's Boy
Review 1 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:July 25, 2012
Customer Avatar
Lindsay
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I did not realize that I haven't posted anything since January! This is quite crazy and a lot has happened in the last seven months! BUT I did just finish a book (the first one in quite awhile) and I am supposed to review it so here goes nothing...
The book I read is called the Charlatan's Boy by Johnathan Rogers. I had chosen to review this book because everyone just raved about how it was SOOOO good! I'll admit, I was really excited when it came in the mail and even though I didn't really have the time, I read a few pages every night. It was not at all what I expected! Unfortunately the story did not grab my attention right away and I found it hard to follow because it was taking place in a foreign land that does not exist. When I read books, I like to be able to imagine my self taking a vacation to that place or being in the charachters shoes. This was not a story where I could do that.
If you like a good book about make-believe, then I suggest you read this book. It is very well written but just not my style.
I wish I could even give a summary but I just don't even know how to explain it. So if you would like to know what the book is about I suggest you look up the title on www.cbd.com. I hope this review was at least a little bit helpful in deciding whether or not it is the right book for you!
I received a copy of this book for from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my review
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Review 2 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Fun Fancy for Younger Readers

Date:June 12, 2012
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luv2readjen
Location:Lisle, IL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
If you have ever struggled with who you are, with what it means to be you, then reading this story will capture your imagination. A young boy who doesn’t know his past is being raised by a ‘charlatan’ who goes from village to village in an imaginary country to earn money by conning people into hearing tales of mythical creatures or having their futures told.
When the charlatan comes up with a plan to create the ultimate scam, a new series of adventures begin so that the rewards will be greater than any they have had before. But as the orphan Grady seeks to please the professor, he struggles with bigger issues – who he is, how he matters, and whether or not the things they do are morally correct.
The story is fanciful and fun, and it would be a great read especially for younger readers – perhaps in the 9-13 year old range. There are elements of adventure and surprise along with interesting characters, and even a touch of youthful infatuation. I enjoyed it, certainly, and I can think of several young people who would enjoy some of its silliness, even while they learned something from its message.
I wouldn’t want to spoil the story, so I won’t say much about the climax or ending, but I thought it was a little unpredictable. Not so much that a young person would be completely taken off guard by it, but enough so that it made the rest of the story much more interesting and colorful. In the long run, there is no overt spiritual message – no prayerful moments or scripture are directly quoted. However, the idea that each of us is a spiritual orphan, spending our lives looking for the truth of who we are as a creation of God, is woven carefully in this story. It’s subtle, but it’s definitely part of the story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 3 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Funny and A Little Sad, too

Date:June 4, 2012
Customer Avatar
Sonora Mama
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”
I just finished The Charlatan's Boy, a funny, heart-twinging adventure by Jonathan Rogers. The story follows Grady, a 12 year old orphan who for as long as he can remember has traveled with Floyd, a traveling "showman", or con-man. Floyd passes himself off as an adventurer, a "perfesser", a phrenologist reading head bumps, and is just this side of a snake-oil salesman. He has spent years passing off Grady as a captured member of a race of mysterious swamp-dwelling, wild-man, "feechie folk", due to the boy's ugly appearance. But townspeople no longer believe in the wild feechie folk, so Floyd is going to stir up an elaborate "Feechie Scare" to get back in business.
Grady has always fully inhabited his role as a feechie, but in between performances he longs to know who he really is, and where he can fully belong. Floyd has no love for him, but where else is the boy to go? While traveling the back roads and drumming up a feechie scare (so Floyd can be paid for his expertise in handling the feechie problem), Grady meets a colorful cast of characters and tries to figure out who he is. Sometimes he almost convinces himself he's more than just an ugly boy, and that someday someone will accept him.
The book is at times funny, sweet, frustrating, sad and ultimately satisfying. I received a complimentary copy of The Charlatan's Boy for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group
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Review 4 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Charlatan's Boy

Date:May 1, 2012
Orphan Grady knew one truth in his life, he was the charlatan’s boy. The charlatan was Floyd Wendellson. Floyd was a huckster, a true fraud and a liar. He and Grady did the feechie show for many years. Floyd told all about the legendary feechiefolk, while Grady played the part of a feechie. Some really thought Grady was a he-feechie. But people were no longer afraid of the feechies and didn’t believe Floyd’s stories anymore. So Floyd and Grady went from village to village using one scheme after another, swindling people out of their money, all the time longing to revive the feechie show.
Grady was tired of his lifestyle of living lies. He wanted to find his family, to know who he was. Every time he asked Floyd where he came from, he got told a different story. When Grady went to a village, he searched for someone who was as ugly as he was that could be his family. He also missed playing the feechie, it had been a part of him for so long. Floyd cooked up a plan to start a feechie scare, to get people talking about feechies again. Then they could revive their feechie show.
Does Grady ever get to be a feechie again? Does he ever find out the truth about his family? Read The Charlatan’s Boy to discover what becomes of Grady, Floyd, and their travelling show.
This story is set in a time period when people went around making money from villagers using shell games, fortune telling, juggling acts, and such. The characters have an interesting dialect – very bad English. Grady is a likable character with a good heart, Floyd is not. As I was reading through the book, I found myself wishing for Grady to make a better life for himself and finally belong to someone. The author made up names and words that make for an interesting and different type of story. If you want to read a book that is nothing like your favorite genre, I would recommend this one.
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for my honest review.
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Review 5 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Adventure for the Whole Family

Date:April 26, 2012
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Madeline Drew
Location:Tucson, AZ
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Charlatan's Boy, by Jonathan Rogers, has a cast of characters as colorful as a box of crayons! Grady is a good hearted young orphan who longs to discover where he came from. All he has ever known is a life traveling with Floyd, a self centered con-man, and Floyd refuses to give him a straight answer on the matter. Their story is quite unique and unlike any I have ever read before. Grady watches people in earnest, ever searching for a place to fit in and, more importantly, the parents that he believes he has lost. Along their journey you'll meet the Ugliest Boy in the World (and proud of it!), an 82 year old woman who looks like she is 20, Ten Finger Walter, the phrenologist (reads people's personalities through the bumps in their skull) and more.
The Charlatan's Boy is a wonderful combination of Robin Hood, Lord of the Rings and Huckleberry Finn. Follow along with Grady and Floyd as they travel through the Corenwald frontier "educating" townspeople about the wild Feechie Folk. Are they real? Every day is a new adventure but you never know exactly who you can trust. I enjoyed this book but felt that it began to drag a bit near the end. I was anxious to see how it would end so perhaps I was just in a hurry to find out what would happen. I do feel that it would be a great read aloud for the whole family!
Jonathan Rogers' Blog
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*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.*
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Review 6 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

C.S. Lewis Meets Mark Twain

Date:April 18, 2012
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StoryGirl
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
As this book has been described as "C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain rolled into one" I figured it could go either way for me: I love C.S. Lewis but am not overly fond of Mark Twain. The cover intrigued me, though, with its vintage circus-y look.
To my surprise, there were things I loved about this book. To some, it may sound silly, but I loved the names of the chapters. Titles such as "In Which I Jump Out of a Box and Play the Wild Man of the Feechiefan Swamp", "In Which We Get Out of the Feechie Trade and I Begin My Formal Education" and "In Which We Commence Terrorizing the Populace" made me laugh and put me in the mind of Charles Dickens. Which, in my case, is always a good thing.
The actual style of writing was also enjoyable. This was an interesting, unusual novel that really didn't seem so much of a fantasy as much as, well, a Twain tale. It reminded me of Huck Finn. The book didn't really grab a hold of my attention though- despite its good points, it just wasn't a plot line that I was terribly interested in- in other words, it just wasn't "my style". The Charlatan's Boy had Christian themes, I suppose, but I'm not sure I would categorize it as "Christian" fiction. However, readers who enjoy fantasy or Southern fiction, I'm sure will want to pick this novel up.
I recieved this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 7 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 4, 2011
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Carissa
Location:USA
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
After reading the Wilderking Trilogy by Rogers, I was so very happy to see that he was writing another book and more happy to discover it set in Corenwald! The story of Grady (aka Grado) is adventurous, laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, and yet a bit sad. Not knowing where he came from, what his last name is, or where his place in life is, Grady is searching for answers. But without anyone to tell him the truth, he doesn't get to far in that particular quest. For a long time he believed that he was an actual Feechie, so when Floyd- his "foster-father" of sorts- declares that Grady is a plain ugly boy whose own mother must not have wanted him, things fall apart for Grady. Since he has no where else to go, he stays with Floyd and they search for different ways to trick and "skin" the people of Corenwald seeing as how no one believes in Feechies anyway. From there, they proceed in many adventures and after a couple years, decided to start another Feechie scare, then they could get their show back on the road.
The Charlatan's Boy was full of very funny moments. A couple of my favorite chapters are "In which I ruin a feller's hair-do and nearabout get smashed for it," (if I'm remembering the title correctly), "In which I get mistaken for a panther" and "In which I tell the truth and hear it." As you can tell just from the names of these chapters, this tale is told in a fun accent that adds personality to the story and Grady.
There were not as many mentions of God in this book as there are in the Wilderking Trilogy- there are a few mentions of prayer and a "praying machine" (being sold by a trickster who even Floyd doesn't like) and it is not an allegory. However, full of adventures, laughs, betrayals, and truths, The Charlatan's Boy is a book not to missed.
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Review 8 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

don't judge a book by its cover but by its ending

Date:May 18, 2011
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sclubmama
Location:Kansas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I did a bad thing. Perhaps not a sin, but definitely a sin in the eyes of an English major. I judged a book by its cover. "The Charlatan's Boy" by Jonathan Rogers has a great circus-inspired cover. It's very reminiscent of the cover of "Water for Elephants."
However, the inside of the book lacks much of what made "Water for Elephants" great. No romance, no real drama, and no face-paced plot. Now, this isn't to say that "The Charlatan's Boy" isn't a good book. It is a pretty good book (3 on a scale of 1-5). It's a slow moving book and took me quite a bit of time to read, just for lack of motivation!
Let me share a synopsis. Grady is a side kick to Floyd. Grady is an orphan (at least he's never met his folks) and Floyd never seems to give him a straight answer about where he came from. They are hucksters, fooling people with their "Wild Man of Feechiefen Swamp" routine (Grady plays the role of the Feechie). People pay money to see this show, kind of like side shows in a circus. The bad part is that not a lot of people believe in Feechies anymore. There haven't been any sightings or scarings lately.
What's a huckster and his boy to do? Stir up a new Feechie Scare. So really this is a tale about a man and a boy trying to make it in a world without doing an honest day's work. You do come to sympathize with the orphan Grady. He's a good kid, just has grown up in a dishonest trade. The ending really is a good one; I won't spoil it though. It's definitely not one that you expect!
I have learned a valuable lesson. Don't judge a book by its cover, but do judge it by its ending (because it may just surprise you).
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Review 9 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

What do you think . . . about honesty?

Date:April 30, 2011
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AlandWynda
Location:Minot, ND
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
First I would like to say that I loved this book and would recomend it to any of my friends. I chose this book because I had read some of Rogers other work and liked it. There were two things I liked liked best about this book. One was that the characters were relatable to me as a teenager and the second was that this book made me think, especially this quote, which comes from the character Grady.
"I think I'm an honest feller. I want to do what's right, but I aint had a lot of practice at it. Being in Floyd's employ, a feller don't get a lot of opportunity to exercise his honesty muscle.
So here's what I'd like to know: if a feller *feels* honest, if he *wants* to be honest but he don't get much chance to talk honest or act honest, is he a honest feller or not?"
This quote made me think about honesty, something I don't think about very much. I'll probably think about it more often now because of this book. I look forward to reading the sequel to this book later this year.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of their blogging for books program.
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Review 10 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Adventure Kids will love

Date:April 18, 2011
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Mommy of three
Location:AZ
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I struggled through the first few chapters and about half way thru the book I couldn’t put it down. I was so wrapped up in Grady’s world that I was hooked. Without giving the ending away, I was surprisingly pleased with the ending. This book would make a great read aloud that can be read in a series of several nights, because each chapter has a beginning and an ending. You will enjoy reading about the adventures of The Charlatan’s boy.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 11 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Unique and refreshing!

Date:April 14, 2011
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MaryRuth
Location:Midwest
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Over the weekend I managed to severely burn my finger and was on limited activity as a result, so I was thrilled when this book arrived and gave me something to do. And if laughter really is the best medicine, my finger will be healed in no time.
The Charlatan’s Boy stars Grady, a pitifully ugly boy who travels the country of Corenwald with Floyd—a professional flimflam man. Grady’s ugliness makes him perfect to play the part of a feechie (the wild little savages the people of Corenwald believe inhabit the swamplands), and he and Floyd make a handsome living off of people who are curious to see “a genuine he-feechie; alive and in the flesh!”.
But as the people of Corenwald gradually stop believing in feechies, times get tough for Floyd and Grady, and they’re forced to find another way of making a living. The book follows their hilarious string of schemes and escapades, including an “Ugliest Boy in the World” routine and a stint in the phrenology business. Alas, nothing seems to work as well as the feechie trade did, back when people believed in feechies.
So, Floyd and Grady decide to cook up another great feechie scare, something to revive the old beliefs in feechies and put them back in business. Unfortunately, as the scare gets underway they realize that they aren’t alone. It seems every huckster and charlatan in Corenwald wants in on the excitement, and before long they’re all claiming to be the only act of their kind, the only one to have a genuine, captive feechie.
If Mark Twain had written fantasy, The Charlatan’s Boy could have easily passed as his work. The settings, the characters, the language and grammar used, and the unique style of humor work together to create a one-of-a-kind fantasy read like none you’ve read before. This is a book to be read aloud in the family room in the evenings; it had me laughing out loud from start to finish.
The plot had a tendency to meander from time to time, but in my opinion that didn’t hurt the book a bit. In fact, I think it only added to the lighthearted and refreshing effect of the story. This was my first time to read anything by Jonathan Rogers, but you can be sure that after this I will be checking out more of his work, including the sequel to The Charlatan’s Boy, slated for release this fall!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review. A favorable review is not required; Waterbrook is committed to gathering honest opinions about the books they publish.
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Review 12 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Deeper than expected

Date:March 10, 2011
Customer Avatar
Cara
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Charlatan’s Boy is unlike any book I’ve ever read. The show of this story is completely stolen by Grady, the narrator and main character. Jonathan Rogers’ use of spelling and word invention to show dialect and lack of standardized education (“perfessor” “prankish”) gives the whole book a distinct and likable tone.
The chapters each read rather like a short story. They certainly do well in the context of the book, but you can’t help feeling that they all have a beginning, middle and end. In a young adult novel (or a novel which likely will be read aloud over a period of many nights) this is invaluable.
I couldn’t help feeling as I was set down in this unreal world in the company of Grady, and Floyd, the charlatan who uses Grady for his “Feechie” act, that I had been there before somehow. This is not dissimilar to the way I felt inside “Jabberwocky” (by Lewis Carroll) for the first time, which is a high compliment. Grady and Floyd travel from town to town scaring well-meaning villagers with talk (and exhibition) of Feechies, a mythical creature said to have terrorized the country in the past. This is the only life Grady has ever known, and he longs to know where he came from (Floyd tells a different story every time, like the showman he is). It is easy to identify with his desire for, well, identity. Even his name changes when he is in character at the whim of Floyd.
Occasionally, there are monologues about what village and family life must be like, and we see Grady wishing to know people, to have friends and to build relationships that are not based on lies and always being refreshed by the need to leave town. This quest to know who he is takes Grady deep into himself, and this is a good journey for his audience as well.
I found myself deeply moved by this book. When I picked it up, I expected something light and cheery, and yes, cute. I found all that, but I also found depth and layers. I found something to connect and identify with. I think that you will too.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Review 13 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not quite as good as the cover

Date:February 13, 2011
Customer Avatar
Christin
Location:Tarpon Springs, FL
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
The Charlatan's Boy is the story of an orphan named Grady who lives in the frontier land of Corenwald. Grady has spent his whole life--as far back as he can remember--playing the part of a live, in-the-flesh he-feechie in huckster Floyd Wendellson's traveling show. Floyd never gives Grady a straight story about where he came from and who his real mamma and pap are, leaving Grady feeling forever out-of-place. Though Floyd is not the sort of character Grady prefers to be around, Grady remains loyal because "you've got to love someone", and Floyd is all he's got. And besides that, the feechie show is where Grady feels the most like his true self.
The Charlatan's Boy didn't keep my attention very well during the first half of the book, but the second half improved. The end of the story provided a very unexpected plot twist that left me, surprisingly, very happy with the outcome. Over all, this fantasy novel left me wishing the story were as fascinating as the beautiful cover.
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Review 14 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Good solid book, enjoyed it!

Date:January 21, 2011
Customer Avatar
Millard
Location:Oregon
Age:Under 18
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers will definitely rank high on my bookshelf hierarchy. It contains the story of a he-feechie that pretends to be—a feechie to put on shows and make money with “Perfesser Floyd”. Grady is an orphaned feechie that doesn’t know who he is, and the story from the perfesser changes weekly. But he does know he’s uglier than most, and likes to do the feechie act. He also knows that the “perfesser” isn’t much to love, but as he puts it: You have to love someone.
The finding out of who Grady was in The Charlatan’s Boy added a fun dimension to the story even if it was reasonably predictable. Sometimes as a reviewer you say characters live and breath. This time they hooted and “Ollie Ollie Ollie-ed” with their feechie war cry while wheeling and dealing the crowds. Something that Mr. Rogers did in this books far better than most writers would have, was his character voice. Not once was I left in a lurch at how they talked after an unexpected vernacular choice. The character voices stayed constant and always just what they really would have said.
The writing quality was excellent and I have no complaints that way. The book moved along at a reasonable pace without pulling you along, but I wouldn’t have minded a faster paced read. One of my only bones to pick with the book is the ending! I didn’t get a good feeling of closure. Sure—I mean there is going to be another book, but the reader deserves a satisfying ending. I felt like it was almost rushed, still at least we had a partial conclusion.
All in all, would I recommend this book? Definitely!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and this is my own opinion.
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Review 15 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

The Charlatan's Boy

Date:January 20, 2011
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Anonymous
Location:oh
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Charlatan’s boy is a sometimes funny, sometimes heart breaking look at an orphan named Grady. Raised by Floyd, the talented con artist of Corenwald, the only life Grady knows is one of traveling from town to town trying to swindle out a living by tricking gullible towns people. As the “wild man of the Feechiefen Swamp”, Grady pretended to be a savage hostile captured and confined by Floyd, who would offer a glimpse of this rare sight for some coin. But as people from these small towns begin to disbelieve in the tales of Feechie folks, Grady and Floyd’s living starts to dwindle. As they scheme to come up with new ways to scam their way through life, one thing keeps nagging at Grady. It is the thing that has troubled him his whole life: where does he come from and what happened to his parents. These legitimate questions, however, are next to impossible to find answers to. His only link to the past is the con man Floyd and as Grady says, “I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.” And so Grady continues his life on the road, hoping one day to find a place in the world where he fits in .I received this copy free to read and review from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group.
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Review 16 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

In this case, you can judge a book by its cover.

Date:January 7, 2011
Customer Avatar
Mely
Location:ATL
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I received "The Charlatan's Boy: A Novel" by Jonathan Rogers free to read and review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I was attracted to the cover. It looks like a great circus show is about to pop off of the cover. In this case, you can judge a book by its cover.
The book is written from the point of view of Grady. Grady is a young boy that's part of a traveling side show act led by Floyd. Floyd is a scam artist. The pair go from village to village making money by any means possible.
Grady doesn't look like everyone else and doesn't know where he comes from. No one can tell him why or where except Floyd, and who could trust a trickster? The biggest trick of all comes at the end (which is a tear jerker)!
I loved every word of this book. It's written in a southern dialect which makes me feel like a family member or close friend is telling me the story. Jonathan Rogers is from middle Georgia, and I grew up around the same area in Fayetteville.
Fantasy fiction is always a great read; it swings the doors of the imagination wide open. I can't wait to read the second part in the fall of 2011. Don't forget to check out Jonathan Roger's blog!
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Review 17 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:January 5, 2011
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April Carroll
Location:Goose Creek, SC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
I have to state that I agree with some of the other reviews that this is not a 'Christian book' in the true sense of the word. Yes, it is a clean story - but it contained no overt Christian message. That said, it was a cute story. I felt so sorry for Grady who just wanted to be loved and belong to a family. The storyline about being in a 'Feechie show' was humorous and engaging, but did get a little bogged down at times. I will say that the ending surprised me (I won't spill the beans for anyone) and I will be passing this book on to my 16 year old son. It would probably make a good family read-aloud!
I received this complimentary copy from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 18 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not great

Date:January 1, 2011
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Sasha
Age:25-34
Gender:female
The Charlatan's Boy was a quick and easy young adult read. There are many excellent reviews for this book, which may have contributed to a higher expectation than normal. I would give the book a solid 3 stars, meaning I enjoyed it okay, but didn't love it.
Okay, for specifics -
First off, the artwork on the cover is stunning. It totally drew me into the book and made me want to read it. So, loved the artwork and chapter font artwork. It helped *me* get in the right frame of mind for the setting of the book.
The book touts many reviews on the back cover and the first few pages. I think this was a mistake to include these in the book. The one review that plastered on both the back and the first page was comparing the author, Jonathan Rogers, to C.S. Lewis. Well, if that doesn't set some high expectations! Which leads me to my criticism of the book:
The allegory. I was really unable to grasp the allegory of the book until the end. I will admit that the last few pages were satisfying. There was a moment, when I said, “Aha!” I find that a strength in writing. HOWEVER. My next and final criticism:
This book was advertised as Christian fiction. Now, my husband and I had a conversation about current Christian fiction. I've read a few novels recently that *I* personally would not consider Christian. This is one of them. If you describe Christian fiction as simply being clean, then I guess this could pass. The message that was presented as a whole at the end of the book was not necessarily Christian. I took it as a Christian message, but it wasn't the kind of message that leaves one seeing “God”, which is what I like to see in Christian fiction.
I think this is a book that I would let my kids read when they get older and it would provide some thought provoking questions about how as Christians, we don't fit into the world. But, I wish that I had seen the allegory woven more throughout the book, along with God's redemptive qualities.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrooks Multnomah book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 19 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Jonathan Rogers does it again!

Date:December 22, 2010
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Grady longs to belong. To know who he is. To feel he does something important. But on the road with a traveling show, his life is one change after another. An orphan, he doesn't know who he is or where he came from. And, worse, when his show falls from popularity he must face the fact that he isn't who he always thought himself to be. Or is he?
Grady's act as a feechie (a mysterious wild man from the swamps) needs reviving. And what better way to do that than scare the countryside with moans in the night, flint arrows, and wild cries? It doesn't take long to cause a frenzy...and maybe more.
If you're looking for a good story from a great storyteller, don't miss Jonathan Rogers's newest adventures of Corenwald, civilizers, feechies and his newest beloved character Grady.
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Review 20 for The Charlatan's Boy
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

rather boring and lacking moral character

Date:December 22, 2010
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
This is a novel suggested for young adults and while I am not one, I do enjoy reading them to see what the publishers are providing for our young people. I found this book disappointing.
The action takes place on an island of the geography and culture of the U. S. southern states. The time is about 150 years ago, when there were still cow rustlers and wagons as transport. The main character is a young orphan, found by a traveling charlatan, and put to work in the charlatan's scams.
After a suitable beginning, the action becomes very slow and very repetitive. I just cannot see a young person slogging through to the very end. At the end the action resumes, but, then it is the end of the book!
I didn't like the language as the characters speak in "cowboy" talk ("perfesser" for professor, "naw," "reckon"). The non-dialogue parts of the book are written in the youth's voice ("we seen," "Floyd and me,"), which I didn't like either. I just cannot see an intelligent young person liking this book.
The book does not have a Christian theme to it. In fact, it is almost the opposite, with so much of the story based on deception.
In a sense, the exciting end of the book justifies the novel's existence. But it was a long way getting there!
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