Charlie and Me

2018 Moving On Shortlist

So here it is...

the NSTBA 2018 Moving On shortlist.

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Running on Empty      S E Durrant

Nosy Crow      ISBN: 978-0857637406

You can read the long list review here.

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Charlie and Me   Mark Lowery

Piccadilly   ISBN:  978-1848126220

You can read the long list review here.

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The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole  Michelle Cuevas

Simon and Schuster      ISBN: 978-1471170188

You can read the long list review here.

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Ella on the Outside     Cath Howe

Nosy Crow   ISBN: 978-1788000338

You can read the long list review here.

Congratulations to all! The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on the 10th November. 

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.

Charlie and Me

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Brothers Martin and Charlie are off on the adventure of a lifetime. They are going to Cornwall where they hope to see the dolphin they saw whilst on holiday. But there is another reason they are going.

Mark Lowery is a great favourite of mine for his earlier books- 'Socks are Not Enough' and 'Pants are Everything'- fast paced, light-hearted stories full of humour. This is a complete change of pace and mood. Emotionally charged and with a deeply moving conclusion, 'Charlie and Me' is a beautiful story, crafted with great skill and thought.

Martin is the worrier; he obviously adores his bother and does his best to care for him. Charlie is a huge personality, often frustrated by his health issues, but a force to be reckoned with. They make quite a team, showing great resourcefulness in the face of lack of funds and the many obstacles they encounter on their journey. 

This is one of those books which is very hard to write about without giving the plot away. Martin's poems are scattered throughout the book as are flashbacks of the special holiday, hinting at his feelings, the significance of Cornwall and this important journey. The ending comes as a shock- I needed many tissues!

Powerful and moving, 'Charlie and Me' is a story about love and family. Well worth a read!

Charlie and Me  Mark Lowery

Piccadilly      ISBN: 978-1848126220