It is the summer of 1942 and young boys don’t sit around the house – they go outside and they explore and more than likely get into a little bit of trouble. Charlie Hardin is a pretty typical boy in that regard. His parents have given him just one rule … stay out of trouble. But when Charlie and a buddy get mixed up in a counterfeiting ring, they do anything but keep out of trouble.
There have been a few really good ‘buddy’ books for boys over the years and this one sets itself apart (and a little out of reach) by taking place in the WWII era. While this somewhat unique time-frame is interesting it also keeps most of the readers from easily identifying with the characters. What we do see is that boys, and their outdoor adventures, haven’t changed a whole lot through the course of a generation or two.
The addition of a couple of counterfeiters who think they’ve found a good place to set up shop adds some plot to the story, giving the reader something to anticipate – wondering when Charlie’s adventures will intersect with the counterfeiters, and then wondering how things will resolve.
Overall it’s a fine story, mildly entertaining, but I was never able to truly connect with it. I was always an outside observing – never brought into the story – which is fine, but then it needs to move along at a quicker pace to keep us engaged.
Looking for a good book? It’s Up to Charlie Hardin by Dean Ing is a boy’s adventure story without much to recommend it but is an otherwise okay read.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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It’s Up To Charlie Hardin
author: Dean Ing