“Armstrong and Charlie” by Stephen B. Frank— Sixth Graders with Issues

Frank, Stephen B. “Armstrong and Charlie”, HMH Books for Young Readers  2017.

Sixth Graders with Issues

Amos Lassen

Armstrong and Charlie are both sixth graders with issues. Armstrong, has to deal with the fact that he’s being bussed out of his community to a white “opportunity school” and he is not looking forward to it even though his parents feel that it’s a good idea. Charlie is dealing with the fact that this is the year he’ll grow older than his beloved brother, who recently died and will never grow any older, plus his good friends are transferring to schools that aren’t “going downhill.” When Armstrong and Charlie meet, they are bound to clash personality-wise.

The story is set in Los Angeles in the 1970s. Our main characters are two young boys from different worlds—one Jewish and privileged, the other African American and often short-changed. We see that usually we have more in common than what we think.

Leave a Reply