Cheer Chick Charlie is the delightful book series you buy for your 7-11 year old daughter or granddaughter when you want them to embrace a love of reading, develop confidence, curiosity about environmental issues and a social conscience but you don’t want to have to worry about whether they’ll be exposed to a violent or inappropriate story line.
What’s it about?
Cheer Chick Charlie is an ordinary 10-year-old girl with an extraordinary talent for cheerleading.
Charlie lives with her entirely ordinary family – younger brother William, Dad (who travels a lot for work) and Mum (who works at home looking after the kids).
Each book – and there are 8 now, with the 9th to be released soon! – sees Charlie head off on great adventures with her family and friends.
They encourage her to reach for the stars and achieve her goals while still taking the time to care for those in need and take action to improve the world around her bit by bit.
What I thought of it
Cheer Chick Charlie is fun and entertaining while also being a gentle introduction to the not-so-cheery aspects of the wider world.
I’ve just finished reading No. 7 and No. 8 in the series. In No. 7 – Above and Beyond – Charlie goes camping with her friends and their fathers. One of the dads has brought along a boy that he fosters for occasional weekends.
The boy’s family situation is not so great – his dad is in jail. This knowledge, and his withdrawn nature, is something that is entirely outside of Charlie’s experience of life to date.
In typical Charlie fashion, she rallies together with her friends to find something that will bring the boy out of his shell and give him something of his own to excel in and connect with others.
There’s no ‘boy-crush’, no ultimate redemption and what Charlie does for him doesn’t completely transform his life. I really love this because it shows kids that:
- bad things happen
- you can do small things to brighten up someone else’s world a little
- it may not completely change their life but that’s OK.
Book 8 – Let’s Do This! – takes a similar arc. During a family holiday to the beach Charlie discovers that people littering is having an appalling effect on the wildlife in the oceans. She wastes little time in wallowing in the tragedy and sets to work writing a list of small steps she can take to help improve the situation, including picking up her own rubbish and encouraging others to pick up theirs.
Throughout all of the books there is plenty of cheerleading, glitter and other things that girly girls are bound to love (and boys, of course – I let my 4-year-old choose his own drink bottle and he picked a pink and purple My Little Pony edition!).
Join the Cheer Chick Charlie club!
Leanne Shea Langdown, author of the Cheer Chick Charlie series – and a mother of daughters herself! – has created a whole Cheer Chick Charlie world beyond the books.
Over at the Cheer Chick Charlie website there’s an iPad game, colouring and puzzles, cheer leading videos, bows, cheer gear, Charlie dolls and more. You can even send a note to Charlie and she’ll write back!
Buy Cheer Chick Charlie:
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