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We Love You, Charlie Freeman: A Novel

By: Kaitlyn Greenidge

Charlotte and her family move to a Massachusetts research institute to take part in an experiment: they will teach sign language to a young chimpanzee who will live with them as a brother and child.

ISBN: 9781616204679

JLG Release: Jun 2016


Sensitive Areas: Language: Strong Language, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes
Topics: Families , Massachusetts , Sign language , Chimpanzees , Historical fiction , African American families

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Awards & Honors

The Center for Fiction 2016 Short List for Fiction First Novel Prize
BuzzFeed 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Teenager Charlotte Freeman isn’t thrilled when her mother uproots the family to the Toneybee Institute. All of the members of the family know how to speak in sign language and were hired to live at the Institute and teach Charlie, a chimpanzee, how to communicate. Every moment is filmed, and Charlotte is confronted
[STARRED REVIEW]
Teenager Charlotte Freeman isn’t thrilled when her mother uproots the family to the Toneybee Institute. All of the members of the family know how to speak in sign language and were hired to live at the Institute and teach Charlie, a chimpanzee, how to communicate. Every moment is filmed, and Charlotte is confronted with bigotry everywhere—the town is geographically divided by race. She soon discovers the wrongness of it all—an African American family raising an ape as one of their own. Back in the 1920s, the Toneybee Institute conducted racist, Tuskegee-like experiments, which readers learn about from the point of view of a black woman and from the perspective of the institute’s rich white founder. Charlotte’s coming-of-age story will ring true with teens, who will cringe at the blatant and subtle racism she encounters. Her sexual identity as a lesbian is never the center of the story, and neither are the apes. This is a literary yet easily approachable novel about race, family, and relationships, making Greenidge an author to watch. While the similarities to Kenneth Oppel’s Half Brother and Sara Gruen’s Ape House are obvious, this volume would also pair well with Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. VERDICT This strong debut novel is perfect for book clubs and will initiate discussion about race, stereotypes, and microaggressions—Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL

Book Details

ISBN

9781616204679

First Release

June 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

336

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 870L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Algonquin

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Strong Language, Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes

Topics

Families, Massachusetts, Sign language, Chimpanzees, Historical fiction, African American families,

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Cover Art

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