Author: Sophie Kirtley
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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5
While playing with Lamont and Beaky in the Mandel Forest, Charlie finds a dear tooth which he adds to this collection called the Mandel Museum. That very night his mom gives birth to younger brother called Dara. When he finds about Dara’s chronic illness, Charlie runs away from hospital to the forest. Charlie always wanted a baby brother, but the threat to his life, made Charlie afraid. In the forest something strange happens, as if a portal to the past opens and takes Charlie back to the stone age. The adventure begins when Charlie meets Harby, the stone age boy and embarks on a journey of helping his family and eventually finding the way back to the present. And you bet the dear tooth has something to do with it.
I absolutely loved reading about the adventures of Charlie and Harby. It is a perfect blend of thrill and suspense. Starting from wolves, spears, caves and storms it contained all the elements needed to make it a perfect adventure story. It made me feel nostalgic and took me back to my childhood days when I used to love reading and watching such stories like The Jungle Book, Tarzaan, etc. It is a perfect book for the middle graders to read during their summer vacations and take a break from their studies. The book teaches us courage, optimism, family values and that running away doesn’t make things better. We need to face our fears and find out how to overcome them. Your parents are always going to love you no matter what so you need to open up to them. The plot was so well written without a single dull moment. I found myself racing through the book to find out what happens to Charlie next, to find out if Charlie would be able to return back home.
This is also a story of survival. To be able to live through unfamiliar surroundings and people who are different form you in uncountable ways. The fact that Charlie doesn’t give indicates bravery. Charlie helped Harby find his family and realized sometimes that sometimes bad things happen but we still have to look out for each other.
Also the friendship between Charlie and Harby despite not understanding each other’s language was commendable at that age. Their love for their family made them stick with each other. Moreover, in the whole book Charlie was not assigned a gender, which proves that everyone could relate to Charlie irrespective of their gender. A Charlie resides in all of us, everyone of us want to run away from things at some point in our life but we need to remember that running won’t change anything instead to we need to face our fears.
After a long time I read such a heart warming story and I highly recommend to everyone who loves a story about courage and adventure. Mostly it would appeal to children and if you are looking for a book to gift a middle grader then you can definitely go for it. Also being a debut author Sophie Kirtley has done an outstanding job and I am looking forward to read more books by her.
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