In the summer of 1959, everything is lining up for it to be the best summer of Jackie’s life. He is on break from school, makes it onto one of the best baseball teams, has great friends to hang out with, and a dad who is on an extremely unusual vacation from work. Jackie fills his days and nights playing baseball, reading comic books, collecting and trading baseball cards, and enjoying the ping pong table built by his father. Jackie, and his best friend, Brian spend countless hours discussing girls and Charlie No Face – a local “legend” who is supposed to be horribly disfigured and the death of anyone who meets him face to face.
One night, Kelso, an older boy, takes Jackie and Brian on a quest to find Charlie No Face. When they actually encounter him and Kelso starts poking him with his own stick and pouring beer on him, Jackie feels bad for the man and wants to protect him from the bully. Although, he cannot readily admit this fact to his friends.
Suddenly, a tornado hits and it seems as if Jackie’s entire world is swept away with it. The big tree in his back yard falls and completely flattens his new ping pong table, he finds out that his dad is not on vacation, but has lost his job, Brian goes away with his family and Jackie is about to be left indefinitely with his Aunt Dee – whom he doesn’t remember at all – while his father leaves in search of a new job.
Jackie adjusts to country life well and begins to enjoy it. He also comes to find out that the mysterious guest that Aunt Dee has staying in the upstairs bedroom is in fact Charlie No Face. Together, they conquer the ghosts of what happened to Charlie – whose real name is actually Hank – and Jackie’s guilt over not remembering his mother who died when he was young. Hank was her best friend when his accident occurred and she stayed with him the entire time – saving his life.
Charlie No Face by David B. Seaburn is a wonderful coming of age story and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent reading it.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Savant Books & Publications, LLC. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.