This Way, Charlie

by Caron Levis (Author) Charles Santoso (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

From the award-winning team behind Ida, Always comes a story about a friendship that grows between a blind horse and a gruff goat.

All the animals at the Open Bud Ranch can see that Jack likes keeping his space to himself. But when Charlie arrives, he doesn't see Jack at all. He's still getting used to seeing out of only one of his eyes.

The two get off to a bumpy start. At first, Jack is anxious and distrustful. But one day, he summons his courage and guides Charlie to his favorite sunlit field: this way, Charlie. And so begins a powerful friendship that will be tested by life's storms--but will ultimately change each life for the better.

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Kirkus Reviews

Memorable and moving. 

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2--Open Bud Ranch is an animal sanctuary for injured or rescued animals. Cows, dogs, cats, and sheep all reside there including Jack, a misanthropic goat who keeps to himself. That is, until a horse named Charlie arrives. Charlie is energetic and full of good cheer, and is blind in one eye. The two form a friendship and readers observe how Jack becomes Charlie's eyes on the farm, helping him navigate the terrain. We also get a brief insight into Jack's abusive past, explaining his aloofness. One day, after Charlie has lost sight in both eyes, the two companions are caught in a terrible storm and Charlie can't hear his friend's instructions over the roar of the wind. Charlie becomes trapped and it is up to Jack to overcome his reticence and rouse the other animals for help. VERDICT Based on a true friendship between a horse and a goat, this picture book has much to offer for young readers about life's challenges and how we handle them. Levis (Ida, Always) excels at crafting emotional, but never saccharine, tales of friendship. Strongly recommend for purchase.--Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, MI

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"This gentle story's positive messages about patience, kindness, and friendship are reinforced in soft illustrations that resemble impressionistic watercolors. . . Memorable and moving." — "Kirkus"
Caron Levis
Caron Levis has an LMSW from Hunter College and an MFA in creative writing for children and young adults from The New School, where she now teaches and advises. She is the author of a number of picture books, including Ida, Always; Stop That Yawn!; and Mama's Work Shoes. Charles Santoso has illustrated several picture books, including I Don't Like Koala and The Snurtch by Sean Ferrell; Ida, Always by Caron Levis; and the Peanut Butter & books by Joe McGee. He lives and works in Singapore.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Harry N. Abrams
Publication date
April 20, 2020
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002090 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Farm Animals
JUV002130 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Horses
Library of Congress categories
Ranch life
Blindness in animals

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