Authored by Penelope Farmer
Written in late 1960's
The New York Review Children's
Being in a new boarding school is tough enough as it is, but to wake up and find you are in another year (1918 - 40 years in the past), with a brand new name, is confusing and very scary. How can this happen and how do you get back to your present time?
That is precisely what happens to Charlotte Makepeace. She goes to sleep one night and wakes up the next morning as Clare Mobley. She has somehow time- travelled back in time 40 years. Luckily she meets an older girl who has a message for her from the girl's mother. Her mother says if a girl named Charlotte ever arrives at the school to please treat her with kindness. The reader then tries to figure out who Charlotte has met in her past that could be this girl's mother.
She and Clare in the following months exchange places frequently and live temporarily in each other's worlds. Both struggle to fit in and hope they are not discovered to be the wrong girl for that era. Although they physically never meet they correspond to each other through a journal and hiding notes in the hollow bedposts. The girls learn a lot about each other and give each other helpful information enabling them to cope much better with their unfamiliar lives.
Charlotte assimilates into the past and seemingly is accepted as Clare Mobley. Gradually she feels her real self slipping away and she struggles to hold onto her own persona. Will she be trapped in this time-warp forever? Will she ever know normalcy once again? Can she find a way to make that happen?
This haunting and enthralling tale sucks you right into the story. You are trying to solve the mysteries that the skilled author sets before you. I really enjoyed the eeriness of it all and just kept on reading to find out if Charlotte could indeed get back to her own reality. I know this unique book will be a great read for ages 9-12 year olds. Adults will love it too I am sure. I highly recommend this book.
* The New York Review Children's Collection...
The New York Review Children’s Collection began in 2003 in an attempt to reward readers who have long wished for the return of their favorite titles and to introduce those books to a new generation of readers. The line publishes picture books for preschoolers through to chapter books and novels for older children. Praised for their elegant design and sturdy bindings, these books set a new standard for the definition of a “classic.”
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