First of all a big thank-you to the wonderful people over at Piccadilly Press for contacting me about this little gem!
I've always been a believer that there's no such thing as being too old for a book. It's something I find myself constantly reiterating both at work and online. Just because you're older than the target market for a book doesn't mean you shouldn't read it, nor does it somehow suggest you aren't smart. I'm a twenty-one year old Literature Student and bookseller. Am I still going to read Children's books? Of course! Half the time they're even more hard hitting and raw than some adult novels. They don't hide behind flowery language and complex prose. They get right to the heart of it.
Which is exactly what Charlie and Me* does. The novel starts out with Marty taking his younger brother Charlie on a holiday....without his parents knowing. Marty is such a lovely character and fantastic big brother. His entire plan hinges around taking Charlie to see the Dolphin he adores down at St.Bernards. But nothing is as simple. Along the way things go wrong and they meet such interesting people.
I love particularly how Charlie was described. We are told he was both a premature and quite sickly baby that now at aged ten has what Marty calls 'an upside down brain'. His brain simply isn't wired the same as everyone elses which means he often has ideas that no-one else does. He's a marvel. It reminded me a lot of how Blu from Abi Elphinstone's Sky Song (review here) was treated as a character which I also loved!
I would recommend this for slightly older children simply because there are some very sad topics discussed that younger children may find distressing. I certainly teared up a bit.
However, this is such a beautiful book, one I highly recommend.