Monday, April 18, 2016

Top Five Reasons You Should Read The Remarkable Journey Of Charlie Price, by Jennifer Maschari

1.     Passageway: (A Secret One!)  As Charlie and his sister Imogen grieve the death of their mom, they find a hatch under the bed that takes them to a parallel world where Mom is alive. (Talk about an amazing premise!)

2.     Plot: Charlie and Imogen spend time with Mom again, eating her delicious spaghetti, playing Scrabble, and going on scavenger hunts. Everything seems perfect. But when they return to the real world, their memories of Mom seem to be fading. Charlie and Imogen’s faces are also fading from family photographs. Mysteriously, Charlie and Imogen are drawn to the “other” world, where “Parallel Universe Mom” seems to be surviving on their memories, devouring all that their heart once held true about their mother.

3.     Pacing: This 290-page middle grade really flew. When “Parallel Universe Mom” says, “I’d love for you to stay down here, Charlie. We can all be one happy family again,and Charlie retorts, “Something is going on here that is not normal, and we need to get out,” I HAD to keep reading! Because why isn’t "Parallel Universe Mom" eating meals with her kids? And why do Charlie’s memories of Mom keep fading when he returns to the real world? Is it possible that Charlie’s friend, who has been missing or possibly abducted, has been sucked into this alternate reality, where he’s spending time with his recently-deceased grandma?

4.     Pup:  I love dogs. And let’s just say that there is a particular dog who is more than a hero in this story. He's a star. 
5.     Prose: This book begs to be read aloud. There is remarkable attention to descriptive detail and lovely, lyrical prose. Here is my favorite passage:

“And now, at twelve years and a month, okay meant that he and Imogen were together, that Dad would finally become a dad again, and that they would never forget Mom. Charlie knew that the memories of her might fade—even the brightest stars blinked out—but there were parts of Mom that were still a part of them.”

This is a middle grade unlike any other I have read. It’s a tear-jerker, a heart-wrencher, and a friendship and family adventure rolled into one.

Anne Ursu called this book, “Brave and bighearted.”

I call it an amazing middle grade debut!




  1. Ooh, must read!! Thanks for this post. :)

  2. This book is so beautifully written! Great post. :)

    1. It has such a classic feel. And yes, the writing shows such attention to craft!

  3. This sounds like a superb book! Definitely a must read.

  4. Lovely premise that echoes psychological reality perfectly. Magical realism is the most effective way to deal with such. I'm reading this one.