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Back to Blackbrick

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  437 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Cosmo's brother Brian died when he was ten years old. His mum hides her grief by working all the hours God sends and Cosmo lives with his grandparents. They've been carefree days as Granddad buys him a horse called John and teaches him all he knows about horses. But the good times have to come to an end and although he doesn't want to admit it, Cosmo knows his Granddad is ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Orion Children's Books (first published 2013)
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Aamina Contemporary I'd say it's for younger readers however it includes young adult themes. The writing itself wouldn't suit more experienced readers.
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  437 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is not my usual type, no obvious romance, teen drama, supernatural beings... It was however very refreshing and extremely moving. It follows the story of Cosmo and his struggle with dealing with his brothers accidental death and Grandfathers Alzheimer's, told in first person by the boy himself. Whether you know someone with Alzheimer's or not, this book will grab you. At first I thought, Sarah has an amazing insight that makes for an interesting read. As it turns out, her father was ...more
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back to Blackbrick is a magnificently clever book that was both heart warming and heart breaking in the same breath.

Alzheimers disease is something that affects an awful lot of people and is difficult for the people around them to deal with and Blackbrick handles this with a sensitive touch and a twist of fantasy.

Cosmo, the narrator of the story, hasnt had the easiest of starts in life his brother died when he was ten and his mother has vanished to another country to work, leaving him to live
Amy Holland
Usually I write down my thoughts about a book because I want something to jog my memory when I need to do reader's advisory at the library. But this is one of those books that I will never, ever forget. It's one of those books that I loved so much, it's hard not to devolve into gushing when I talk about it. What I loved most is the narrator's voice - it comes across as a mix of Holden Caulfield and Greg Heffley. Bizarre, but it works - there are laugh-out-loud funny moments interlaced with ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
The time travel is rather sketchy and the demise of Cosmo's brother doesn't quite make sense (how would Cosmo know what Brian was thinking just before he fell?) but Cosmo is endearing and his relationship with his grandfather in whatever decade is lovely.
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is an okay read. I felt it just lacked depth. The premise is great. The characters weren't well connected. Maybe it was a lack of description? I just didn't connect with it.
Annabelle Heath
To call this a fantasy is not to describe it accurately. It has fantasy elements, but at its heart, this is a book about a boy trying to save the mind of his grandfather as he starts to lose it to Alzheimers. And its equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.

Its a testament to Moore Fitzgeralds skill that she can pull off that balance. I defy anyone not to be tickled by Cosmos attempts to follow some bogus websites instructions on how to keep his grandfathers mind healthy, and not be secretly
Nurhayati Ramlan
2.5 stars

First of all, I don't hate this book. I just think that it isn't for me. Despite all the lovely quotes I found in this book-they are brilliant, wise and thoughtful- I couldn't ignore that nagging feeling inside of my head when I was reading this book.

Back to Blackbrick has quite a promising premise. The story base is good but the way the author builds the storyline doesn't quite reach me. It lacks of depth. As if the whole book is a string of events connected to one another lousily.
Deceptively lovely story that becomes more layered as it develops. Very enjoyable.

(view spoiler)
Amy Forrester
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Cosmo is pretty sure this isnt how his life is supposed to be. His mom has moved to Australia for a job and he hasnt gotten over the death of his brother. He also refuses to believe that his massively brilliant Granddad is losing his memory, so he begins to take action using the advice from the Memory Cure website. But even though it helps sometimes, he cant seem to get Granddad to remember that Cosmos brother Brian is dead. Things go from bad to worse when Granddad takes a fall and a social ...more
Georgia (The Bibliomaniac Book Blog)
Review is at my blog too: http://booksandwritersjnr.wordpress.c...

Just because you cant see someone anymore doesnt mean that theyre not a part of you
Cosmo is a boy in a complicated family- his brother, Brian, died at the age of ten, his mother has moved to Sydney for business, and now Cosmo lives with his Granny Deedee and Granddad Kevin. But Granddad seems to be losing his memory, and although Cosmo denies it, he knows he has Alzheimers Disease and there isnt much time left before his
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out my book blog for book reviews and more:

I'm always enthusiastic to read books by Irish authors. Back To Blackbrick is the debut novel from Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, so I quite happy to read it. I read this a few weeks ago, and I decided to read this over The Fault In Our Stars, because I felt like so like reading something different, and Back To Blackbrick seemed like a different kind of story, and it was. It just wasn't my kind of book.

"Just because you can't see
Big Book Little Book
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Daisy (11) for
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Cosmo loves his Grandad, really honestly, but the only problem is that in his old age hes gone slightly, how do you put it? well, crazy. So crazy in fact, that he regularly gets into long conversations with a lamp post. The only other problem is that other people have started to realise and ask embarrassing and hard to answer questions. Since Cosmos brother Brian died, his world has been slowly
Adele Broadbent
Cosmo is grieving for his 10 yr old brother who died falling from a window. Hes grieving for his mum who upped and left for Sydney for her work, and hes grieving for his beloved Grandad who taught him everything he knows about horses, but sometimes cant even remember Cosmos name. Alzheimers is slowing taking Grandad, day by day.

Social workers come to assess Grandad and tell Cosmo that Grandad would get better care in a home and that he has one more week with them. In a rare lucid moment, Grandad
Jim Erekson
Dec 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I enjoyed how this story played with narrative and memory as two sides of a coin. Exploring loss in general via dementia and a very down-to-earth time travel story was a fascinating patchwork of writing ideas. The themes and issues were nicely displaced and then emphasized by having most of the story within the fantasy time frame. It didn't feel like an 'issues' book, but it clearly worked with current realistic fiction issues. If the plot threads were predictable, it was still fun to watch ...more
Sally Boocock
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a well written emotional book about never losing people you love even if they are no longer with you.It covers a subject close to many people's hearts through the eyes and words of a young boy and his grandfather.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is not one of my usual reads but as soon as I started reading it I couldn't stop! It was such an interesting story. Would definitely recommend this book to people who want a change from romance or horror.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable book, made me want to find out more about the characters. It made the point that bad things happen to everyone, but life does go forward. Life can be enjoyable. I liked the special bond between the main character and his grandpa.
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful debut children's novel with lots of sensitive insight into Alzheimers. Review to follow soon.
Monica Roy
Fitzgerald's descriptions of grief brought me to tears. I am excited to share this book with my students.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
Unusual time travel book. Cosmo is trying to save his demented grandfather from institutionalisation. As Cosmo travels back to his grandfather's youth, we learn more about his tragedy-filled life
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING! One of my favorites.It definitely is one of the best fantasy books ever.
May 10, 2020 rated it did not like it

This is easily one of the most depressing books I've ever read. 10-14 is the suggested age? No. This is definitely a book about a child that is very much written for adults.

Not only is there a ton of language for a children's book, the entire plot revolves around a teen girl who is raped/sexually assaulted and then impregnated by her rapist. There is also a scene where two boys watch the girl breastfeed and discover what "boobs" are for.

Not to mention two of the main characters recently
Ms. Heres
Cosmo has had to deal with a lot of difficult things in his young life. His brother passed away, his mom leaves him and head to Australia, he's now living with his grandparents and his grandfather is quickly losing his memory...and often can't even remember who Cosmo is. When his grandfather gives him a key and tells him to go to "Blackbrick Abbey", Cosmo is confused but determined to do anything to help his grandfather remember the past. Cosmo has no idea it will mean that HE will have to take ...more
This was a very sweet, poignant tween book, unlike anyone I've ever read in that genre. The storyline wasn't quite what I expected - it was gentler and less suspenseful than I thought it would be, though the wonder of how it would end kept me turning pages. Cosmo, the main character, was funny and biting, yet loving as well. His experiences felt very real and relatable in the present time, and the ending was very moving.
Sheila Rae
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Different, but engaging from the start, it tells the story of Cosmo, a young teenage boy and his beloved Grandfather Kevin, who is suffering from Alzheimers disease. The book is written in the first person through the eyes of Cosmo, and deals very well the issues of bereavement and helping his grandfather deal with Alzheimers. Might not appeal to everyone as the plot involves time travel, but it made a refreshing change ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'You have to stay focused. You can only take care of one time zone at a time. That's something I've definitely learned. It's a useful thing that everyone should know.'

I looked forward to reading this YA/children's book because I loved 'The Apple Tart of Hope'. This one again includes themes like bereavement and bullying, and I also again loved the flow of the language, that reminded me of 'Skellig'. Sad and sweet in equal amounts, with a little bit of magic thrown in.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
A different kind of time travel book where Cosmo goes back in time to meet his grandfather, Kevin, and ask him to change some habits so that he would not get Alzheimer's in the future. He also wanted Kevin to save his (Cosmo's) brother from his ill-fated death. Neither happens, of course. But Cosmo learns a lot about the present by understanding the past. This book was choppy for me.
little bookworm girl
Back to Blackbrick is so beautifully written. The first half was slow and at one point I contemplated dnfing it but Im so glad I didnt. The last quarter was so deep and moving and everything righted itself and became clear. However it does include mature themes , not really suitable for middle grade readers. But an amazing book. ...more
Suzan Jackson
A wonderfully written middle-grade novel, filled with warmth and love, dealing with issues of loss, all wrapped in a time travel adventure and a great sense of humor - I LOVED it!

My full review here:
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.8 stars
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Sarah Moore Fitzgerald was born in New York, grew up in Dublin and lives in Limerick where she works as an academic. As a young child and in early adulthood, she wrote fiction constantly, furtively and under cover of darkness. Eventually, she came out as an author with the completion of her first novel, Back to Blackbrick. Her second novel, The Apple Tart of Hope is due out next summer. Shes a ...more

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