Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home

by

Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 10
10 Reviews
Write a Review

Nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL 2019.

'A marvellous novel, by turns funny and sad .... an empathetic story of kindness and loss' The Sunday Times

'I LOVED this book. Funny, sad and beautifully written' Lisa Thompson, author of THE GOLDFISH BOY

'Funny, tender, sad and huge of heart' Phil Earle, author of DEMOLITION DAD

'Mark Lowery is an exciting new voice in children's fiction' Elen Caldecott, author of HOW KIRSTY JENKINS STOLE THE ELEPHANT

Thirteen-year-old Martin and his younger brother Charlie are on a very special journey. They're going to be travelling 421 miles all the way from Preston to the very tip of Cornwall. They're hoping to catch a glimpse of the dolphin that regularly visits the harbour there. But is that the only reason they are going?

It's a journey that's full of challenges and surprises. Martin adores his brother Charlie but he's not like ordinary kids. He's one in a million. He was born far too early, and ought to have died. And cheeky, irrepressible, utterly unique Charlie is always keeping Martin on his toes - especially on this crazy trip they are now on. 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 ...

Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home Reviews | Toppsta

9781848126220

Share on

Sign up to our newsletter for...

Free Book Giveaways, Recommendations & more

21st January '18
Scorcher read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
My nine year old loved this book.  He loved that he can relate to the character Martin, and Charlie is just like his big brother.
4th April '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
 When Martin and his brother Charlie embark on a journey from Preston to Cornwall without telling their parents, they're going to end up in big trouble. Drawn back to St Bernards - a place that totally captivated Charlie - on a mission to see the dolphin  that visits the harbour. Martin knows that Charlie will be over the moon to return to this special place and well, Martin will do anything for his brother. Because Charlie isn't an ordinary brother, he is truly extraordinary in Martin's eyes. A brother born way too early but who battled for survival and despite the setbacks he's faced in life and the restrictions it has placed on Martin's life he couldn't love him more. But that's not the only reason Martin is making this epic journey, he is hiding a secret. A huge secret that once revealed, there'll be no going back from.

I was initially drawn to this book by the stunning, vibrant cover illustrated by David Dean, it was this that made me buy a copy for my school library. This story just wrapped itself around my heart I just loved the relationship between Martin and Charlie. It was realistic and heart-warming without being overly sentimental, I think Mark got the balance just right. It could have so easily been an idealised journey filled with glorious views and special brotherly bonding moments. But Mark captures brilliantly the reality that it's not going to be a piece of cake for a boy just to sneak out of the house with his brother and travel 421 miles unaccompanied without causing chaos and confusion on the way. It's on the edge of your seat drama as they try to evade the authority and police who are trying to track them down, containing just enough peril and humour to keep the reader turning the pages. The characterisation is just marvellous, Mark has created characters that you genuinely care about. Not only are Martin and Charlie complex and interesting, but the introduction of juggler and non-comformist Hen gives the story another layer for the reader to unravel. I must confess I struggled to read the last few pages through my tears as I was crying so much. Funny, sad but ultimately uplifting, 'Charlie and Me' is a truly special book that I just want to press into the hands of children and encourage them to read.
13th May '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
I loved this book so much that the moment I finished it, I felt compelled to email the author and tell him what an incredible book it was. It is, quite simply, beautiful. It is also moving, engaging, funny, inspiring and surprising.

I absolutely loved the use of the poems that help structure each chapter and took three attempts to read the last one through my tears! 

The characters are original and the storyline moves quickly, with flashbacks that add to the drama very cleverly and leave you trying to make links and predict what will happen. 

Please read this book! It deserves to be read! 
10th December '17
sammy10 read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
Such a beautiful book. A highly recommended  heartwarming and emotional book that you will not want to put down.
28th November '17
Lilly-rose read it themselves aged 8 aged 8
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
Dramatic book about an every day Childs life. A little sad but heart warming.
23rd January '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
Martin and Charlie are on an epic journey to Cornwall, on their own. Having deceived their parents, the two set off with limited funds and no adults, and they know they will have to avoid discovery on their journey south. When Martin’s carefully laid plans collide with Charlie’s crazy behaviour, it’s a race against time to reach their final destination on time, without getting caught. But why is it so important?

Martin is a caring, thoughtful older brother to Charlie’s larger than life character, and the love he feels for him is clear. We see Martin’s hopes and fears in his poetry interspersed throughout their story, and the flashbacks give increasing importance to their current journey.

Beautifully written, Charlie And Me is a heartbreaking yet uplifting tale of brotherly love, exploring grief and mental health, within a gripping adventure that steadily builds tension, with laughs along the way, before the jaw dropping conclusion, which had me in tears.

Great for fans of The Ethan I Was Before, The Goldfish Boy and My Brother’s Shadow.
24th November '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
An emotional rollercoaster of a book.  My son LOVED this book, his enthusiasm was infectious and he couldn't wait for me to read it.  He questioned me every day about how far I had go.  He loved discussing the story, and loved hearing my theories about what was happening, and what I predicted might happen next.  Have never enjoyed sharing a book with my son so much.  Now my friends are reading it too.  This book should be made into a movie...it is THAT GOOD.
6th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
Well written story about the journey of a boy and his brother, written in a dialogue/journal style.
2nd March '19
G read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
5 stars
Martin and his brother Charlie are about to go on their biggest adventure yet: they are sneaking out from their home early in the morning to Cornwall. It can’t be an adventure without difficulties, right? He lost his bag & Charlie more than once and having to steal to eat. With help from new friends, Martin gets to see the dolphins. Is that the only reason though...

It has been quite a while since a book made me cry, but this did!  The story is funny but sad at the same time. If you like mark lowery’s other character Roman Garstang, you should be able to like Martin and Charlie. This is a great PSHE book due to things that happen later in the book. This book is for best for 10 years plus , as younger children may not understand what is happening.

A perfect nominee for the CILIP Carnegie...
23rd February '19
Eilidh C read it themselves aged 8 aged 8
Charlie and Me: 421 Miles From Home 9781848126220
3 stars
I was 7 when I read this book and didn't expect what was coming. I didn't like sad books then and am writing this review from the viewpoint I had when I was 7, but now I could probably cope with it. Martin is travelling on the journey of a lifetime with his brother Charlie. Not for readers who don't like sad stories.
Show More (0)

About Mark Lowery

Mark Lowery Biography
Mark Lowery is a small man with a big head. He sings like an ostrich, plays the guitar like a squid and speaks Italian like an overcooked lasagne.  

His first two books - Socks Are Not Enough and Pants Are Everything - were both short-listed for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2015 he released the first Roman Gar...

More about Mark Lowery

Ratings

  • (9 Reviews)
  • (0 Reviews)
  • (1 Reviews)
  • (0 Reviews)
  • (0 Reviews)