Monday, March 11, 2013

Back to Blackbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald





Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is a brave new voice in children's literature, she has written academic books before but this is her first book for children and it is assured, strongly written and totally engaging. The protagonist is Cosmo a young boy coming to terms with the accidental death of his brother a few years earlier and his mother's desertion of him to take a job on the other side of the world. Cosmo lives with his grandparents whom he adores but right from page one we know that something is wrong as his grandfather begins to act strangely and forget things. Cosmo tries to help by googling memory loss and using different techniques to help his grandfather remember. However everything comes to a head when social workers and doctors become involved and Cosmo is told that he will have to stay with his uncle Ted for a while. In a moment of clarity his granddad gives him a rusty old key and tells him to go to Blackbrick Abbey. Sneaking away in the middle of the night Cosmo manages to open the gate and on the other side he meets his grandfather as a teenager. Cosmo realises that perhaps his grandfather has given him a chance to change the past and save everything from going wrong. A heartfelt and emotional story which deals with issues deeply personal to the author who lost her father to Alzheimer’s, this is a great read for teens and adults, highly recommended. Thanks so much to Joanna at Hachette Ireland for sending this out to me to review.

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