Charlie & Frog

Charlie and Frog illustrations by Carlisle Robinson

By Karen Kane
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 2018

All Charlie Tickler wants is for his parents to listen.
Charlie’s parents have left him (again). This time they are off to South Africa to help giant golden moles. And Charlie? He’s been dumped with his TV-obsessed grandparents. Lonely and curious, Charlie heads into the village of Castle-on-the-Hudson, where a frightened old woman gives him a desperate message—in sign language. When the woman suddenly disappears, Charlie is determined to find answers.

All Francine (aka Frog) Castle wants is to be the world’s greatest detective. 
Frog, who is Deaf, would rather be solving crimes than working at the Flying Hands Cafe. When Charlie Tickler walks into the cafe looking for help, Frog jumps at the chance to tackle a real-life (maybe) murder mystery.

Together, Charlie and Frog set out to decipher a series of clues and uncover the truth behind the missing woman’s message. Charlie needs to learn American Sign Language (fast) to keep up with quick-witted Frog. And Frog needs to gather her detective know-how (now) to solve the mystery before it’s too late. Discover the surprising ways people listen in Karen Kane’s Edgar-Award nominated mystery filled with humor, intrigue, and heartwarming friendships.

Awards and Lists

  • A 2019 Edgar Award Finalist for “Best Juvenile”
  • Sunshine State Young Readers Award Nominee 2021-2022
  • Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee 2020-2021
  • Scripps National Spelling Bee Book of the Month December 2020
  • Scholastic Book Club Selection November 2019
  • Amazon Best Book of the Month

“A smart and sensitive mystery full of heart and adventure. The short chapters of Charlie and Frog tell a big story of diversity and friendship that’s perfect for readers discovering the power of middle grade stories.” ―Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor

“K​ane’s debut, a light and engaging mystery, takes on added depth through its focus on the Deaf community. Charlie longs for kinship with others; intriguingly, it’s through learning sign language that he finds friendship and connection.” ―Publisher’s Weekly

“The mystery here is entertaining, but what makes the book unique is its positive and thorough incorporation of deafness. Kane is a graduate of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and she seamlessly integrates American Sign Language (ASL) and deaf characters into the story, subtly reminding readers that these are capable, complete individuals. A worthy addition to mystery collections.” ―Booklist

“An enjoyable read that artfully mixes adventure, heart, and cultural competence.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“There will undoubtedly be great satisfaction in the solving of this kooky mystery, but it’s Charlie’s search for love, care, and community that will keep readers absorbed until the very last page.”Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“In addition to a fun-filled adventure, Kane’s novel explores the difference between hearing and truly listening.”―School Library Journal

Charlie and Frog illustrations by Carlisle Robinson