Please support the ASLC with Free Registration and get access to all our reviews
Charlie me
Author: Lowery, Mark
Publisher: Yellow Jacket, an imprint of Bonnier Publishing
Year Published: 2018
ISBN: 9781499807561
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7

Charlie and Me – 421 Miles from Home

Reviewed by:

As you begin this sensitive and poignant novel for middle school readers (Grade 4 – 7) several questions begin to emerge – Why is Dad working all the time?  Why is mom staying in bed until the afternoon, or not getting up at all?

Thirteen year old Martin does not have the answers but he knows that something has happened to his family and he wants to make it right again for his younger brother, ten year old, Charlie.  Charlie was a premature baby who remains a small boy with a number of eccentricities.  He is impetuous, has no understanding of danger, is smart, cheeky and has asthma.   By turns annoying, funny and endearing, Charlie is also frustrating; but, the family, particularly Martin, champion his uniqueness.  Lowry is adept at developing their close relationship in heart-warming detail.  Martin describes Charlie as: “My absolute best friend in the whole entire world.”

Things were normal and happy on a family holiday, a year ago, to the south coast of England where they saw a dolphin that fascinated Charlie; now Martin wants to take Charlie back to that happier time.  Without consulting his parents, he plans a trip to St. Bernards, 421 miles from home.  Along the way, Martin is faced with the challenges of train travel, running short of money, being on the run from the police, and losing Charlie when they change trains. When Charlie is lost, Martin is desperate and accepts help from some unlikely sources in his effort to locate Charlie and eventually reach the destination.   The climax, in the final chapter, answers the nagging questions, poses some new ones, brings the family together in an amazing way, and has a strong emotional impact.

It is through Martin’s voice, and his poetry, that the reader shares the journey.  The three primary characters are strong and well-developed through both actions and dialogue.  The theme of fierce brotherly love is obvious, while the theme of a family dealing with grief and loss are cleverly disguised in this non-stop-crisis adventure story that will keep readers enthralled.



twitter
9780735229235
Where the Woods End
Salter, Charlotte
ISBN: 978-0-7352-2923-5
Grades: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8

The woods are out to get you. If you’re not killed by the wolves baying at the village limits, then…...

This content is for members only. Membership is free so please take a minute to sign up and read the review.

Please Sign Up or Login Register
This Way, Watson
This Way, Watson!: A Map and Directions Primer
Pearson, Claudia
ISBN: 9781423647652
Grades: Grade 1, Kindergarten

Watson is a dog and together with his pigeon friend Scout they have a wonderful time using a map to…...

This content is for members only. Membership is free so please take a minute to sign up and read the review.

Please Sign Up or Login Register
Tea Dragon Society
The Tea Dragon Society
O'Neill, Katie
ISBN: 978-1620104415
Grades: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

A young goblin finds a lost and hurt dragon – a dragon who happens to grow the finest of tea…...

This content is for members only. Membership is free so please take a minute to sign up and read the review.

Please Sign Up or Login Register
water cycle
The Great Big Water Cycle Adventure (Look and Wonder)
Barnham, Kay
ISBN: 9781438050447
Grades: Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4

A science book for the younger audience from a new series: Look and Wonder.  As the title suggests, this informational…

© Copyright 2018 all rights reserved.