LONG LIST REVIEW: Charlie and Me

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Martin and his younger brother, Charlie, are on a real adventure. They are determined to make it to St Bernard's in Cornwall where they had had a memorable holiday, seeing dolphins leaping in the sea. They have very little money and despite Martin's best efforts, very little idea about where they are going!

Things keep going wrong for the boys. largely due to the eccentric nature of Charlie who is impulsive and quirky. Seriously ill when very little, he has a very individual outlook on life and Martin has a hard time keeping track of him. The story follows their journey with all its ups and downs, the challenges they face and the people they meet until it reaches its unexpected and moving conclusion.

Beautifully told, this is a heartwarming, gently humorous story. focusing on the warm, loving relationship between two very different siblings. The narrative is interspersed with poems written by Martin which hint at things left unsaid until the end of the story and deepen the reader's understanding of Martin's feelings. The story offers so much to discuss and explore with groups and individuals. Both Charlie and Martin are beautifully created characters, both complex, both endearing, each one unique and special.

This is a very special story about love and loss, which encourages empathy and explores the importance of sharing feelings as a family. I can't recommend it highly enough- but you will need tissues!

Charlie and Me   Mark Lowery

Piccadilly   ISBN:  978-1848126220

You can read another review of 'Charlie and Me' here.