Charlie Apple is a fast paced and exciting book about, Georgie, a timid boy that has fallen behind in school. He was retained in the fifth grade and regularly hears catcalls from the others making fun of his difficulties. Georgie is the butt of the fifth grade jokes and he is regularly bullied by others. His father, David, a well-known computer expert, decides to buy Georgie an upgraded personal computer to try to help his son with his difficulties in school as well as build his self-confidence. Georgie’s mother, Karen, thinks the computer is a waste of time and money and what he really needs is therapy, this causes family problems.
Georgie is immediately mesmerized by the new personal computer. It calls itself Charlie, and initially it is always helping and encouraging Georgie, building his confidence and simultaneously building the boy’s knowledge base and intellect dramatically. Georgie is soon accelerating and leading his class. Georgie, his family and friends are soon paying a steep price for Georgie’s newfound confidence and advanced intellect. As Georgie’s confidence and intellect grow, he also grows dark. He becomes a trouble maker and a bully himself. Georgie is filled with inner conflicts as well as conflicts with classmates, friends and his family.
Charlie is using Georgie and the computer in his father’s business to advance his message of evil. Charlie is soon wreaking havoc with Georgie’s family and friends as he is able to control and manipulate people’s minds. When David finally realizes what is happening he uses his knowledge to try to destroy the personal computer, unfortunately he has underestimated the power of Charlie and finds that it has turned the tables on him and is beginning to attack the supercomputer, “Omnivac” that runs David’s business.
The battle between David and Charlie becomes the battle between good and evil, a battle for Georgie’s future life and his soul.