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Shift
Shift is coming . . . will it be the end of the world? Fifteen year old Adrian lives in a time and place where church has rejoined state. Christianity is now required by law but Christ's message of love and tolerance is forgotten. Adrian's father is missing in action and his mother must be very careful. She is a scientist who works for the highly suspicious regime. In his quest to untangle all the threads of his life, Adrian heads north across a nuclear wasteland, with his psychic little sister Shriek, an assistant zookeeper named Lenora, and a rescued penguin. Ultimately, he must face down the clumsy but awful forces of evil, deep inside a mountain in what once was Maine. Will he save the world? Will he save himself? Will the earth itself crumble and crack? Stay alert...Shift is nearly here!

  • The Theater Project in Brunswick, Maine adapted this book for the stage, inspiring great community conversation. I was thrilled with the Young Company's rendition.
  • A television interview: "PPL Presents: First Friday Author Talk - Charlotte Agell 'Shift' 4/09" click here.
  • For an interview I did about Shift, click here.
  • Click here for a blog entry about Shift by writer Sarah Laurence.
  • The frontpage article about Shift in the Oct 17, 2008, Brunswick Times Record is here (PDF).

If you don't have time to read Shift, Jackson Ruprecht boiled it nicely into a haiku when he was one of my 8th grade students:
 
Evil Homestate's plan
A staged faux catastrophe
Can the world be saved?


 

Welcome Home or Someplace Like It
Welcome Home or Someplace Like It was my first novel. It was published by Henry Holt in 2003. It sold out of its hardcover imprint, but there is a rumor that it may return in paperback when my next novel comes out. In this book, thirteen year old Aggie moves to a small town in Maine, with her mom and fifteen year old brother, Thorne. There, Aggie meets her strange and wonderful grandfather for the first time, as well as a girl named Mad, numerous chickens, and a whole host of other characters. She also discovers why her mother, who grew up in tiny Ludwig, has never taken her children there before. What is the mystery? And are there miracles at play? Aggie illustrates her feelings about her new life in notebook #27.

I hope you will read this book, but if you do not have time, here are the 100 most used words: again always anything ask better big calls cat chickens church come cove dad day delwyn down even eyes feel first get give go going gone good got grandpa guess haley head helen henry home house island keep kind know lady laughs least left life little long look looking lot mad maggie maybe mean miracle mom mother must name new next now old people place probably quikstop really right rock run say scoot sea see seems should since sit small smile something stand start still stuff sure take talk tell thing think thorne time tucker turns two walk want water waves.

Aggie's adventures are entirely fictitious, but emotionally true to my peripatetic (dictionary.com) childhood. For example, one summer in Sweden, we rented chickens, believe it or not. The first thing they did was fly the coop, just as happened to Aggie. My editor for this book was Christy Ottaviano, who never ceases to amaze me.
To purchase Welcome Home or Someplace Like It online at Amazon.com, click here.