Charlotte Sometimesby Penelope Farmer
It is Charlotte's first night at boarding school. But when she wakes up, the girl in the next bed is not the person who was sleeping there the evening before. And the new building outside her window seems to have metamorphosed into a huge, dark cedar tree! Somehow, Charlotte has slipped back forty years.
“[Charlotte Sometimes] has all the pleasures of a good time-travel yarn...Adolescence is all about forging an identity, and this novel speaks to those questions of ‘who am I?’ and ‘how do other people see me?’ in an abstract, haunting way...For those of you with middle-grade children, I recommend Charlotte Sometimes wholeheartedly, and for those of you who may have read it as a child, I recommend returning to it, if only because rereading is one of the only forms of time travel available to us.” —Hannah Gersen, The Millions
"...[A] book of quite exceptional distinction...the author has built a haunting, convincing story which comes close to being a masterpiece of its kind...not easily forgotten." —Christian Science Monitor
"Farmer writes with style. She is vivid in her depiction of place: on almost every page, scattered with colorful figures of speech, we are drawn into the school and the surroundings of the school through sights and sounds and smells and textures...above all we are moved by the depth and poignancy of the relationship between Charlotte and Emily." —Eleanor Cameron
Meet the Author
Penelope Farmer published her first book of short stories for children, The China People, in 1960 The Summer Birds, the first of several books in which Farmer writes about Charlotte or her sister, Emma, was published in 1963 and received a Carnegie Medal commendation. In addition to writing novels for adults and children, Farmer has edited several literature anthologies. She lives in London.
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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.
This was a most wonderful book to have read. After reading it (as an adult w/o children) I have fallen in love with this little tale, also so spun off by 80's band The Cure in their song of the same title. A most endearing story, which I recommend to anyone with kids, or anyone who was touched by the band.
this book will incourage the poor kids of Afganhastan.