American Girl Wiki

Charles Kittredge is the older brother of Kit Kittredge, almost always called "Charlie."

Personality and Facts[]

Charlie is the older brother of Kit and her only sibling. He is sixteen years old (as it wasn't uncommon to graduate from high school at that age at the time). Charlie is very handsome. He is warm, smart, funny, affectionate, supportive, and mature. Charlie calls Kit "Squirt" and often calls Ruthie Smithens "Goofy Ruthie". He gave Kit the book Robin Hood, which had been one of his books when younger.

Charlies is honest and direct with Kit, which she appreciates, as it makes her feel like an adult.

Charlie had been preparing to go to college to study English literature[3], but is unable to because of the financial hardships his family must deal with due to the Depression. He gets a job initially loading newspapers for delivery and gives up his personal bedroom to allow for more boarders, moving to the sleeping porch (and later sharing it once it's boarder in). During the summer of 1933, he attends one of the work camps organized as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps (or CCC), and returns by February 1934.

One of his favorite authors is Henry David Thoreau.

In the Books[]

Meet Kit: An American Girl[]

Charlie is first spoken about as an article for her newspaper; Ruthie mentions him, and Kit types how Charlie has set a "world record" by eating a whole plate of gingersnap cookies meant for Mother's garden club that afternoon and jokes that he should try out for the Eating Team when he leaves for college in a few weeks. Charlie soon after pops his head through the door, letting the girls know that the garden club has arrived and if they want anything to eat they need to go downstairs quick, as Mrs. Culver has already dove into the nut dish.


Charlie explains the family's financial issues to Kit.

When Kit rushes into Louise Howard while trying to show Stirling a news article about Ernie Lombardi, he adds to the commotion by asking what happened and what all the noise is about. He goes quiet when Mother arrives. Later, he finds Kit on the steps, waiting to give Dad her paper about how things aren't fair. He greets her--she does not reply--and asks what's eating her. He asks if that's one of her papers and when she says yes, Charlie picks up Kit's article and reads out the headline, then asks what it's about. After hearing that it's about the events that afternoon and unfairness--for example, her this afternoon--he tells Kit it's nothing and she shouldn't make a big deal out of it. When Kit protests, Charlie takes a deep breath, lets it out--and, in a suddenly serious tone, tells Kit she shouldn't bother Dad with her newspaper today. He then asks--after making sure he can't be overheard--if she knew how lots of people lost their job due to the Depression.

When Kit says yes, Charlie then explains that, just yesterday, Dad told him and Mother he was closing down the car dealership and going out of business because nobody's had the money to buy a car for a long time now. He goes on to say Dad didn't want his family to worry and hoped that things would improve if he just hung on. Charlie admits he doesn't know what Dad will do and guesses that Dad will just have to look for a new job, despite it being hopeless these days. When Kit states Dad's sure to get a new job, Charlie shrugs and explains that there simply aren't any jobs to be had, hence why so many people are going away to find any work at all. He honestly states he doesn't know if they'll lose the house and it's a struggle to keep, explaining the mortgage to her and that they still owe on it and that the people at the back would indeed turn them and all their belongings out if it's not paid. When Kit asks why Dad told Charlie about losing his job but not her, Charlie sighs a huge, sad sigh and explains that Dad told him because it means he's no longer able to go to college. Kit, knowing just how much Charlie had been looking forward to college, says how that's terrible, awful, and not fair. Charlie grins cheerlessly and points out how that was her headline. He continues that a lot of unfair things have happened lately, but there's no one to blame and nothing they could do about it; he sounds tired, as if he's much older all of a sudden, and tells Kit that life isn't like books with a bad guy to blame, and sometimes there's no happily ever after. Charlie says he doesn't know what'll happen to them and stands up to go, but Kit asks him to wait. She asks why he told her and he explains that she's a part of the family and she deserves to know. Kit thanks Charlie, grateful he treated her like an adult.

At dinner--after Margaret has decided they'll take in boarders--she explains Charlie can move to the sleeping porch and other boarders can stay in his room. Charlie shrugs and says he's all right with the plan, and Mother thanks him.

Kit Learns a Lesson: A School Story[]

Kit's Surprise: A Christmas Story[]

As a Christmas gift for Kit, Mr. Kittredge fixes the broken keys and lever on Kit's typewriter, and Charlie gives Kit a box of typing paper. He includes a paper on top with a typed message that reads, "For Kit, Merry Christmas! with love from Dad and Charlie." Above this is a misspelled message with how the typewriter produced those sentences before the keys were fixed.

Happy Birthday, Kit!: A Springtime Story[]

When Aunt Millie unexpectedly arrives at the house, Charlie and Mr. Kittredge are busy cleaning out the garage. With so many boarders in the house, they need to use the garage for storage.

Kit Saves The Day: A Summer Story[]

Changes for Kit: A Winter Story[]

Kit Uses Her Head[]

Kit's Winning Ways[]

Really Truly Ruthie[]

Menace at Mammoth Cave[]

Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit[]

Charlie is on leave from the Civilian Conservation Corps.

If the girls go to the jail after being picked up by railroad bulls Kit calls Uncle Hendrick to pick her up; he brings Charlie to drive him. While they wait they discuss Uncle Hendrick, Charlie's work with the CCC, and how both Kit and Charlie want to go to college but can't afford it now (and shock the protagonist, as her cousin Jayden goes to an expensive college) and how Kit will find a way for Charlie to go. Charlie pulls up driving the car with Uncle Hendrick in the back and teases Lulu upon meeting her. On the return trip Hendrick scolds them, which includes stating how Charlie is likely to be a common laborer since he can't get a job at home (angering Charlie enough his neck reddens). When Kit argues Charlie will go to college, Hendrick says he never will. He later rants that Charlie's job isn't a real job, merely a "make-work boondoggle" made by FDR (calling him a lunatic and Eleanor a busybody) who will be gotten rid of because he's ruining the country. The protagonist (who knows that FDR will be elected four times) makes a bet with Hendrick that if FDR is re-elected, Hendrick will then pay for Charlie to attend college--and if he's re-elected twice after that, he'll pay for Kit to attend. (If she's wrong, she adds, then Kit and Charlie will instead do chores for Hendrick for a year.) Hendrick takes the bet with Kit and Charlie as witnesses, believing that FDR is a terrible president likely to be impeached rather than re-elected. At his house Hendrick says he'll go no further as he doesn't like to drive; Kit then finagles a job for Charlie to drive Hendrick around for the next two weeks before his return to Montana and Hendrick agrees. Charlie thanks Kit for getting him the job, and thanks Lulu for standing up for him even if he believes it's unlikely the bet will go through. The protagonist says not to be so sure and dust off his books--and that college is in Kit's future too. They return home and Kit and Charlie tell their parents about the driving job and bet (giving the protagonist an opportunity to leave quietly).

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl[]

Charlie is not cast in the movie; however, like Aunt Millie, he is mentioned in passing by other characters.


  1. Really Truly Ruthie, pg. 42: "Heavenly day!" said a bustling woman Ruthie knew at once must be Aunt Millie. "Charles Jackson Kittredge, is that you?"
  2. Charlie is mentioned to be sixteen years during the events of Meet Kit.
  3. Full Speed Ahead: My Journey with Kit