Friday, June 29, 2018

Charlie and me 421 Miles from home by Mark Lowery

Martin is doing his best to be a good big brother, but it's hard when there's something so huge coming once they get to Cornwall ... Toppsta

Imagine filling a puppy with blue Smarties and Lemon Fanta, then bouncing it on a trampoline: that's Charlie when he's excited.

First off I need to say do not, do not, DO NOT jump to the last pages before you finish this book. Even giving this advice feels like a spoiler. Just read Charlie and Me 421 Miles from home and let the surprises unfold.

Martin has organised everything -  food, money, and the family biscuit tin. He is running away with his young brother, Charlie. Martin loves Charlie even though the youngster is challenging.

"Here's what I'd say about Charlie.  'Lazy eye, massive head, snores like a hippo, often ill, weird taste in food, terrible memory, always out of breath cos of his asthma, cheeky, can't do anything for himself or concentrate for more than two seconds, brain's inside out, no understanding of danger. My absolute best mate in the whole entire world."

Buying the train tickets is as complex as the actual journey which involves so many changes to different trains you almost need a map. You can read more of the plot by clicking on the review quotes above and below.  Rather than relate the plot I would like to share some of Charlie's words of wisdom.

Charlie loves foil covered biscuits "the hefty thick ones in the golden foil? ... Ninety per cent chocolate. Five per cent biscuit.'  'What's the other five percent?' I ask ... Charlie sniffs hard. 'Dreams."

"What's what?' 'The meaning of life.' 'Ah. Well, actually, it turns out it's ... cheese."

When Charlie sees a dolphin jump out of the water, Charlie tells his dad "It was like a ... a ... a bobble hat full of hope and happiness."

Charlie finished his breakfast which "tastes of the future." He has porridge with three fried eggs on top.

I would pair Charlie and Me 421 Miles from home with The Secrets we Keep, Run, Pip, run and The Honest Truth

I highly recommend Charlie and me 421 Miles from home as an engaging, surprising and fast paced personal story of love between two brothers.  The story structure of flashback chapters and Martin's poems add interest. Big thanks to Beachside Bookshop for my Advanced Reader Copy. For more books by Mark Lowery take a look at his web site.

In Charlie and Me, Mark Lowery has delivered a very special story. Readers will cry with laughter and sadness in equal measure, as they share in the journey of two children on a mission to rediscover whatever the magic ingredient was that made an old family holiday so special. Books for Keeps

No comments: