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You are in for a big treat today because I have a guest poster and he's a student in my school district, from Bonny Eagle Middle School. His name is Declan and he is one of my most favorite readers! We have been sharing and recommending books since he could read practically and he outreads me year after year. :-)
After I read The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly by Rebecca K. S. Ansari, I put it in a stack of books for Declan and it was the first one he picked up. We are both in agreement that this is a unique story, unlike anything else we've ever read and that's a good thing! Here is Declan's book review, followed by mine. Enjoy!!!
A couple of weeks ago I was given a copy of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly, at first I was skeptical of it, but it sounded interesting so I gave it a shot. The book immediately tells you that Charlie O'Reilly is an only child, which is why he makes everyone uncomfortable when he talks about Liam his brother. Liam has been wiped from everyone's memories, along with every trace of his existence. He's so sure his brother is, or at least was real. So Charlie, his best friend Ana, and friend Jonathon head out to find him. They discover a woman has been taking children that wish they had never been born, and taking them to a magical orphanage that to most people looks like it burnt down many years ago.
Charlie, Ana, and Jonathon hatch a plan to get him out and quickly discover it's not going to be as easy as they thought. So they must use their strength, wit and friendship to make it back home. To find out more you must of course read the book. All in all it's an amazing book, filled with twists and turns. This book is truly like no other and I've never read anything like it. If you're looking for a book with mystery, suspense, funny and relatable characters, I highly recommend The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly.
Declan, age 12, Bonny Eagle Middle School
I have always loved fantasy so looked forward to reading Charlie O'Reilly. I found it a mash up of both fantasy and realistic fiction which often provides excitement along with interesting plots. I liked Charlie the minute I met him and I know you will too. From the opening lines, "Charlie O'Reilly was an only child. It therefore made everyone uncomfortable when he talked about his little brother.", who can't feel empathy for a boy who is quite certain that he has a younger brother yet everyone else, except his best friend Ana, have no memory whatsoever of Liam. Although Ana doesn't remember him either, she is the only one who doesn't think Charlie's crazy. Although he is sent to counseling, his goal is to figure out what in the world is going on! Is he crazy? Why is his mother so depressed and his father so often gone on business?
When Ana and Charlie meet Jonathon, the new volunteer for the baseball team, the mystery thickens. Who left the note in O'Reilly handwriting that said, TALK TO JONATHON. Who wrote it and what did it mean? What does Jonathon have to do with anything?
Cross the threshold of fact and fantasy with Charlie, Ana & Jonathon as they follow leads and enter an apparently abandoned home, real to them, where it is winter all the time. The necklaces each child wear hold the key to something but what? Have Charlie and Ana made a terrible mistake in coming here?
This book is definitely a page turner and a great debut novel from Ansari. I can't wait to see what she brings us next but while you're waiting, get yourself a copy of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly, and plunge into a fantastic adventure to find out if Liam is real, and if he is, where is he and how can they get him back?
P.S. Here is a teacher's guide with a summary, discussion questions and activities! CLICK HERE
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