Describing the silent-film star's hardscrabble early years, the following is an excerpt from Sir Charlie Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World, by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2010). This is the point in which Chaplin follows his brother's footsteps into acting.
"If Charlie had heard of Faust, who made a pact with the devil to exchange his soul for recaptured youth and other yearnings, the Cockney would have been glad to make the trade. All he yearned for was a change in luck and maybe a kidney pie. The change arrived, anyway, and haggle free."
Sir Charlie Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World is for ages 9 and up, according to the publisher.
Writing at the publisher's blog, Under the Green Willow, librarian Susan Erickson said, "Sometimes I think [Sid Flesichman] wrote as much for his own enjoyment as for his young readers; his great skill as an author allowed him to do both." For this not-so-young reader, the curlicued writing style distracted me so much from the story that I stopped halfway through.
Sir Charlie Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World was nominated for a Cybil award in the middle grade/young adult nonfiction category.