"While foggy cliffs and colorful villages effectively evoke the exotic Newfoundland setting, it's the mystery that moves the tale forward...A fast-paced, often riveting mystery with a plausible, thrilling climax." (Kirkus Reviews
"This suspenseful mystery keeps the reader engaged...Charlie is a very likeable character, one to whom readers will easily relate. In addition to the major themes, censorship and literacy are issues which are also brought up and could instigate conversation in a classroom. Highly Recommended." (CM Magazine
"Charlie is a true teen hero. Faced with a situation that would be well beyond the abilities of the average 13-year-old, Charlie is a character that will catch the attention of most teenagers. A fast-moving and exciting plot leaves the reader wanting more at the end of each page. The descriptions of Newfoundland are haunting, creating a compelling visual backdrop for the story. The conclusion is both believable and satisfying." (Resource Links
"Mills' writing seamlessly brings together the pathos of Charlie's situation with the coarseness of Frankie's and Nick's circumstances...The cliff hangers, beyond those of its setting, repeatedly lead the reader to anticipate but instead surprise, just the way a great thriller should." (CanLit for Little Canadians blog
"In Charlie, Rob Mills has created a nearly perfect, enigmatic character. Charlie is naïve yet worldly. He is compassionate and vulnerable, yet resilient and resourceful...The falling action is equally intriguing, and when the reader reaches the ending, he finds it to be shocking and emotional. Readers will want a sequel, needless to say, in order to discover the next chapter in Charlie's life. Mills combines contemporary topics like child abuse and a writing style that is full of local color and dialect to give us an excellent book." (Tri State YA Book Review Committee
From the Back Cover
I feel his hand twitch and twitch again. I put both my hands around his. And then, just a tiny bit, it opens. Then a bit more, and I feel something drop out of it, small, hard, hot in my palm. A key. I can tell without even looking. When Charlie Sykes wakes up an orphan in a St. John's hospital, he inherits little more than a brass key and memories of life with his father in northern Alberta. Then Uncle Nick, newly paroled from a long prison term, shows up and claims the key is rightfully his. But Charlie refuses to give it up and leads Nick on a wild chase through old St. John's, across Signal Hill and out to the coast. There, high above the rugged Atlantic, Charlie finally comes face-to-face with a family history that will leave him with a new understanding of where he comes from and where he's going.