Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley

The Wild Way Home is a captivating story of self-discovery and realising what is truly important in life. In the stillness of the forest, twelve-year-old Charlie and her friends explore the ancient paths and walk where many people have come before. When Charlie discovers a special deer tooth, she has no idea to whom it once belonged or just how important it will prove to be. Sophie Kirtley captures the beauty of the forest through her wonderful descriptions of the trees, plant life and animals who rule the landscape. Images of enchanting nature fill the pages as Charlie finds out what her true path will be.

Charlie has almost everything she ever wanted and is just about to receive her greatest wish – a baby brother. However, when baby Dara is born and there are complications, Charlie doesn’t know what to do. She runs – runs so far away no one will be able to find her. Lost in the past, Charlie faces challenges she never imagined and finds strength she didn’t know she possessed. Will she be able to make her way back home to the life she always longed for?

This book should find a home on classroom and bedroom bookshelves for so many reasons. It will help children to explore difficult changes in life and learn how to cope when things are hard. It reassures children that they are not alone in their feelings or circumstances and that things can get better. The Wild Way Home would be a great accompaniment to a class Stone Age topic with opportunities for discussion about values, survival and family. The symbolism of the wolf and the recurring spirit songs are strong reminders that some of the most important things we can do are “give thanks” and “make safe”.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Children’s Books for this very special book. It will be published in July 2020.

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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