When I first heard about the book The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price, it was one I was wary of - it has a dead mother. I guess it's a deep seeded fear, losing a loved one, that makes books that feature this topic, ones I tend to not jump and read. However, a few trusted book friends have recommended it. It's also an author that is part of the "Sweet Sixteen" debut group. It's a group of new authors who have books coming out in 2016. The books sound great and if it's anything like this one, we're in for a treat!
The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price
by Jennifer Maschari
published by Balzer + Bray
I fell into the world of Charlie Price as soon as I started it. Charlie and his sister, Imogen, are trying to pick up the pieces of their world after their mother passes away from cancer. Their father is still grieving and is having a tough time adjusting which means he is not paying attention to the kids as much as he should. Charlie tries to make things as "normal" as he can for his younger sister, but it's a lot of responsibility for a twelve-year-old and at times it's too much for Charlie.
But then the unthinkable happens. Imogen finds a way to see Mom again. Without giving away spoilers, and wanting you, the reader, to find out yourself, I'll leave it at that.
And that's when the A Wrinkle in Time comparison comes in. I remember liking the idea of a parallel world, it's complicated yet interesting. There is also the underlying theme of not fitting in. But where I think kids have trouble sticking with Wrinkle, I think they will easily stay with Charlie Price. It's relatable. The idea of losing someone close to you is something that kids fear. The idea of loneliness, yet wanting to see that person again, even if a reader has not experienced a loss, will be understandable to young readers. The feelings of conflict Charlie experiences will be felt by the reader and keep them wanting to find out what happens. Great themes of love, loss, family and friendship to explore in this book.
What a strong debut from author Jennifer Maschari. I'm looking forward to sharing The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price with many readers and reading future books by Jennifer!
Be sure to find Charlie Price at your local bookstore or library on February 23rd!