Armstrong & Charlie

Armstrong & Charlie
by Steven B. Frank
from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Charlie isn’t looking forward to sixth grade. If he starts sixth grade, chances are he’ll finish it. And when he does, he’ll grow older than the brother he recently lost.

Armstrong isn’t looking forward to sixth grade, either. When his parents sign him up for Opportunity Busing to a white school in the Hollywood Hills, all he wants to know is “What time in the morning will my alarm clock have the opportunity to ring?”

When these two land at the same desk, it’s the Rules Boy next to the Rebel, a boy who lost a brother elbow-to-elbow with a boy who longs for one. From September to June, arms will wrestle, fists will fly, and bottles will spin. There’ll be Ho Hos spiked with hot sauce, sleepovers, boy talk about girls, and a little guidance from the stars.

Set in Los Angeles in the 1970s, Armstrong & Charlie is the hilarious, heartwarming tale of two boys from opposite worlds. Different, yet the same.

This title precedes Frank’s 2018 Class Action.


“In 1974, two 11-year-old boys, one white and one black, learn that their differences don’t have to keep them from becoming friends in this funny and moving middle-grade novel.” Shelf Awareness (starred review)


“Unforgettable, well-drawn titular characters are the heart of this deeply moving and laugh-out-loud funny story about family, friendship, integrity, and navigating differences.”  Kirkus Review (starred review)


“[A] fantastic book full of humor, narrated by two characters with great, stand-out voices.” Amanda MacGregor, SLJ’s Teen Librarian Toolbox


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