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The Wild Way Home

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When Charlie's longed-for brother is born with a serious heart condition, Charlie's world is turned upside down. Upset and afraid, Charlie flees the hospital and makes for the ancient forest on the edge of town. There Charlie finds a boy floating face-down in the stream, injured, but alive. But when Charlie sets off back to the hospital to fetch help, it seems the forest has changed. It's become a place as strange and wild as the boy dressed in deerskins. For Charlie has unwittingly fled into the Stone Age, with no way to help the boy or return to the present day. Or is there … ?

What follows is a wild, big-hearted adventure as Charlie and the Stone Age boy set out together to find what they have lost – their courage, their hope, their family and their way home.

Fans of Piers Torday, Geraldine McCaughrean and Stig of the Dump will love this wild, wise and heartfelt debut adventure.

256 pages, Paperback

First published July 9, 2020

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Sophie Kirtley

2 books15 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 118 reviews
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,337 reviews298 followers
December 18, 2020
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📗 I don't think I have ever read a story about the Stone Age before, and I nearly dismissed this one as potentially cheesy, probably because when you think of the stone age you probably think of this. The blurb intrigued me though, a story of a boy trying to cope with a chronically ill sibling, he runs off into the woods and finds himself back in time, meeting a strange boy his age.

📕 I really loved this story. There was a real bond between the two boys, despite being separated by thousands of years of difference, and they both taught each other their own ways and helped each other heal from their losses. The book was compulsively readable too, which new dangers being introduced it kept me guessing.

📘 While I had one very small niggle as an adult (if I read "make safe" one more time I might have just screamed), the ending was truly heartbreaking and I found it difficult to leave the characters. While using old themes, this story feels wholely original and unique. This was a fantastic debut and I can't wait to see what the author does next!
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 69 books971 followers
February 6, 2020
This is one of those books that made me fall in love with the possibilities of MG fantasy all over again - it sent sparks of writerly excitement through me as I read, in the most exhilarating way, but also I just SOBBED at various points because OMG was I emotionally invested in all of these characters! The mixture of contemporary realism and vivid emotional truth with truly luminous and beautifully-written magic was *amazing.*

This book will come out in the UK in July (not sure yet about other countries - I hope it will at the very least have a US pub date!) and this is the blurb that I just sent for it: "Gorgeously magical and achingly real. I loved every character in this book and I devoured the whole story in a breathless rush because I couldn't stop reading (even when it made me cry)."

I can't wait to share it with my 11-year-old, too - as I read it, absolutely loving it for myself, I kept also thinking about all the different things he's going to love about it, too!
Profile Image for ThatBookGal.
669 reviews89 followers
June 14, 2020
The Wild Way Home takes you on an exciting journey into the Stone Age, with horrors and joys aplenty to be discovered. It's the kind of adventure story I would have loved as a child, and the kind that I would want to place in the hands of my own children. There's plenty of great messaging in the book, with the main being that running away from difficult issues doesn't make them go away.

I loved that Charlie is never assigned a gender or specifically described, so can embody whoever the young reader wants/needs them to be. I had a quick browse of the reviews and found it really interesting that almost everyone had assigned Charlie 'he/him' pronouns.

The growing friendship between Charlie and Harby was really sweet, and the way they learnt to communicate with each other despite the various barriers is a great message. The challenges they overcome and the laugher they shared was just lovely to read.

A really sweet little book, highly recommend checking out.
Profile Image for Mathew.
1,492 reviews170 followers
September 27, 2020
I must admit that Ben Mantle's cover did a lot to persuade me to pick up the book as did a lovely little podcast between Jake Hayes and Sophie Kirtley ( here). The Wild Way Home tells the story of 12 year old Charlie Merriam who runs away from their parents when they found out that their new-born brother is seriously ill. Not knowing what to think or do ,they head to the only place they feel solace: Mandel Forest.

Yet when Charlie enters, they find themselves not in the forest they know but in one which is tens of thousands of years in the past. There, Charlie encounters another soul who is also lost and confused: a Stone Age boy named Harby. Together can they help each other find the courage to face the fears that neither of them wish to acknowledge?
A time-slip novel touching on current themes and motifs throughout, The Wild Way Home is riding this refreshing wave of books that explore the complexity and secrecy with which we attach to some emotions. The idea that you can be a man or a boy and cry; that being scared of facing something beyond your control can be overwhelming but that the best friends will always be there for you and that endings don't always have to be perfect; they can be real and feel real too are some of the concepts Kirtley explores with tenderness and truth. With Charlie as a gender-neutral protagonist all readers are invited to identify with their challenges and emotions.
I very much enjoyed this story and can see it as one which would be perfect to share with your own child or as a class.
Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,784 reviews1,625 followers
July 1, 2020
The Wild Way Home is award-winning poet and writer Sophie Kirtley’s middle-grade (MG) debut and really took me back to the sheer wonderment I felt when I first discovered the power of books all those many decades ago; I had no idea quite how magical an adventure this was going to be but I was soon completely captivated. It is undoubtedly one of the best MG stories I have had the pleasure of dipping into. It's a simple, well-told tale following young protagonist Charlie as he flees into a local wooded area to deal with his fear, grief and anxiety when his baby brother is born with serious health problems that knock Charlie's frame of mind from happy go lucky to worrisome. Discovering what is seemingly a Stone-Age boy of a similar age to himself dressed in deerskins floating face down in a stream, his focus shifts to helping out the injured visitor with more than a few hiccups in the process. Slipping effortlessly between present day and Stone Age epochs we are treated to a stunning and gripping novel brimming with heart, hope and acceptance and highlighting the importance of friendship, family, love and open-mindedness.

This is an unforgettable journey with an original yet straightforward story, an engaging and realistic cast of characters, and many thought-provoking and inspirational messages subtly placed throughout the narrative perfect for young minds to ponder. Taking place predominantly in the natural world it draws attention to the environment and how we are forever searching to be led home sweet home. We are taken back in time to a richly-imagined and hugely detailed surroundings that evoke times past. With both protagonists sharing much in common: they both are very raw emotionally and have lost their family and with that the sense of belonging that such a supportive unit provides. Introducing younger minds to emotions they may have only felt fleetingly before is important in highlighting how one can deal with said emotions when they arise in real life. Despite the book addressing lots of topical issues, they are never a replacement for the fun, action-packed and pacy tale which unfurls at the forefront. A beautiful, high quality and atmospheric read. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for an ARC.
Profile Image for Marieke.
114 reviews26 followers
December 24, 2021
I read quite a lot of middle grade novels and this might be my least favorite so far. I don't want to say too many negative things about it because the author seemed so sweet in the acknowledgments and I don't dare break her heart. So I'll say that I think a lot of improvements can be made regarding the writing and the plot. The writing style made it seem like it was for early readers (5-7 year olds) instead of 7-12 year olds, but for early readers it was too much text and too little pictures/spacing. So yeah I guess it was just a little bit of a mess.
Profile Image for Elaine.
3,357 reviews103 followers
June 30, 2020
Rating 4.5/5*

What an enthralling middle grade reader this proved to be - I think children will love it and so will their teachers! This is a superb story that I would definitely have used with pupils in my class so highly recommend to primary teachers to check out, especially if they are doing any work relating to the stone age or anything concerning family and courage. 

Charlie has always wanted a sibling and was eagerly anticipating their arrival. His brother is born near midnight on the day before Charlie's twelfth birthday but the excitement is tinged with dread as his baby brother is born with a heart defect that needs immediate surgery. That news has Charlie literally running off to the nearby forest where he usually plays with his friends. This time, however, he finds a boy, lying in the river and discovers that he may be on familiar ground but he's no longer in his own time! Thus starts a moving adventure set in the stone age in which he discovers the meaning of family and how important it is to 'make safe'.

This story has great descriptions, fantastic characters and plenty of adventures, too. It is an enthralling and somewhat emotional read which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Profile Image for Sophie (RedheadReading).
370 reviews65 followers
October 20, 2020
This was really sweet! I thought it did such a good job of navigating some really serious emotional topics against the backdrop of the timeslip adventure. It was so much fun to read something set in the Stone Age - definitely not a topic I've seen explored in middle grade before! I can really see why young readers will connect with this and love it.
Profile Image for A Severs.
232 reviews25 followers
August 10, 2020
A great time slip story set in the Stone Age - I especially liked the forest setting as I think children don’t often think of forests when they imagine that time period. The ‘in the now’ parts were actually really emotional and the book doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the issues of illness and death. The main character’s slip in time is a great vehicle for him coming to terms with how life changes; his time spent in the past, helping another boy and his family, helps him with his own situation. The details of how a familiar forest was different thousands of years ago are exciting although I was hoping that at the end he would go back and ‘discover’ something which confirmed what he had discovered on his travels back in time. The main thing preventing this from being a solid five from me is the fact that the Stone Age boy who Charlie meets speaks a simple version of English that simple wouldn’t have existed in the time - perhaps this points towards the adventure being a flight of fancy but I didn’t want to believe that, I wanted to believe he has really time travelled. However, still a great story!
Profile Image for Eve McDonnell.
Author 3 books13 followers
February 29, 2020
Oh! Magnificent storytelling! Like 12 year old Charlie, I was instantly catapulted into the depths of the Stone Age, and found myself exploring and imagining this strange and mysterious world as though I could touch it. Sophie’s writing flows smooth and fast as a river, making The Wild Way Home one of those books where you simply won’t have need for a bookmark. It’s full of heart, superb characterisation, and themes of courage and belonging – no matter how lonely we might feel when things go wrong, we are never alone. And hidden somewhere within, a gentle reminder that, like the people before us, we are only visitors here, minding this world for all the generations to come.
Profile Image for Alicia.
1,256 reviews54 followers
July 10, 2021
This book gets an extra star for emotional impact.
I thought this would be a disability read, but it's barely addressed. Instead this is about Charlie and his coping mechanisms and working his way through disappointment and grief.
It's a quick little adventure with lots of heartache and symbolism thrown in, and I can see kids 7-10 loving it.
3 reviews
August 26, 2020
"I'm in the stone age, aren't I?" Wie fantaseerde als kind nooit over hoe het zou zijn om te leven in een andere tijd? Wel, laat dit boek je meenemen op de wilde avonturen van twee jongens in de steentijd.

Charlie leeft aan de rand van een oeroud bos: Mandel Forest. Het is zijn favoriete speelterrein. De nacht voor zijn 12e verjaardag maakt zijn papa hem wakker. Dat waar hij zo lang naar heeft uitgekeken is gebeurd: hij is grote broer. Als hij zijn broertje Dara voor het eerst ziet, voelt Charlie dat er iets mis is. Hij hoort het gesprek tussen zijn ouders en de dokters: Dara heeft een hartafwijking en wordt met spoed geopereerd. Charlie panikeert, hij rent weg en verschuilt zich in Mandel Forest. Daar ziet hij een jongetje, gekleed in een dierenhuid, levenloos liggen in een rivier. Als Charlie hem wil helpen, blijkt het bos plots niet meer te zijn wat het zonet was. Wat volgt is een wild avontuur, een zoektocht van twee jongens naar wat ze zijn verloren: hun familie en hun thuis.

Het was de cover die maakte dat dit boek op mijn leesstapel terecht kwam. Het groene bos met daarop die gouden letters: wonderlijk mooi. Het is het debuut van de auteur en ik kan er enkel goede dingen over zeggen. De personages en de setting zijn heel gedetailleerd uitgewerkt. Ik kon mezelf een perfect beeld vormen van het bos, z'n geur, z'n geluiden. Net als Charlie werd ik meegezogen in de steentijd. De auteur schrijft heel vlot in korte hoofstukken en doorspekt met de nodige humor. Het lijkt me ook een fantastisch boek om als kind te lezen: de kinderlijke fantasie kan er helemaal op los gaan.

Deze passage illustreert het thema perfect: 'I think about how things aren't always what they seem; how bad things can sometimes just happen and there's nothing you can do about it, no matter how hard you try to forget … or how far you run.' De twee jongens vinden troost en inspiratie bij elkaar om te verwerken wat er is gebeurd en terug te vinden wat ze zijn kwijtgeraakt.

Ik heb heel hard genoten van dit boek: de personages, het avontuur, de setting, alles was top. Het staat in mijn top-3 van dit jaar. Aanrader voor iedereen!
Profile Image for Vonprice.
382 reviews
February 29, 2020
This book is an extraordinary feast for the senses. A story about the power of family, it also feels like a celebration of the ancient woodland of the British Isles, with a deep love of nature permeating every description of a majestic tree or the instinctive behaviour of a forest animal. The language resonates with nature-related similes; examples include the description of footprints in the sandy riverbank: “bird prints, like little letters in another language.” ancient flowers are “massive and speckled and wrong, like tongue-out faces with wavering tentacles.” Meat cooked in the smoke of a fire is “so tender I hardly have to chew and it’s delicious, like ham would be if ham was less pink and more wild.”

Charlie Merriam loves Mandel Forest which stands at the edge of his home and town, and knows every inch of it, having played there with his two best friends, Lamont and Beaky since their early childhoods. On the eve of his twelfth birthday Charlie finds a deer’s tooth on the forest floor which he picks up to add to his “Mandel Museum”. The following day Charlie goes to visit his much longed-for, newborn baby brother Dara only to find that his parents are devastated as Dara faces a life-saving heart operation. Unable to cope with the anguish, Charlie runs to the forest, from where he glimpses the multiple windows of the distant hospital looking like a fly’s compound eye, each seeing things from a slightly different perspective.

This is appropriate to Charlie’s sense of disorientation, when, after squeezing the deer tooth tightly in his hand he finds himself in altered surroundings. Although the familiar landmarks are recognisable, the forest seems wilder and the colours and sounds have taken on a greater intensity. Then he spots the body, face down in the stream…

Somehow, Charlie has time-slipped back to the stone-age! As he forges a relationship with Harby, the boy he rescues from the stream, he begins to realise that both of them are running from emotions too powerful to deal with. The primitive instincts for survival, for companionship, home and family are all explored.

The sense of a landscape linking the distant past with the present day is beautifully imagined in this emotional story, with the ancient Spirit Stone standing as the totemic link between past and present. The tale also conjured for me an evocation of a more carefree past when children spent their summers playing outside and roaming independently rather than being glued to a screen or tracked by worried parents through their digital devices.

This is an exciting and thought-provoking tale, with some deeply emotional moments and some episodes of heart-stopping, adrenaline-pumping, jeopardy. I would recommend it for readers in Year 6 and beyond, perfect for readers who have loved The last Wild trilogy by Piers Torday, The Explorer by Katherine Rundell or Stig of the Dump by Clive King.
58 reviews2 followers
February 27, 2020
When the going gets tough, Charlie gets going...

Twelve year old Charlie Merriem is filled with excitement at the arrival of the baby brother he has always dreamed of. But when he discovers baby Dara is seriously ill Charlie's fears overwhelm him and he flees to his safe place - Mandel Forest.
But when Charlie finds an ancient deer tooth, he is suddenly whisked back in time to the Stone Age. There the forest holds dangers Charlie could never have dreamed of and a boy who needs his help.
By helping Harby find his family, will Charlie find a way back home to his? And will he find the strength to face his deepest fears?
This story contains all the ingredients for a fantastic adventure: wolves, storms, shadows and oodles of danger. However, the external obstacles are nothing compared to Charlie's inner struggles. Even if he survives the threats lurking amongst the trees, can he ever forgive himself for abandoning his baby brother?
Kirtley tells a bold tale. For the majority of the book, the story focuses on only two characters- Charlie and Harby- and yet the narrative remains engaging through fast-paced twists and electrifying descriptions of the forest itself (the language used in the storm scene is incredible.) Although certain aspects of the story did come to feel slightly repetitive (there was a lot of running and tripping and falling) these moments were broken up by chapters filled with high tension. The climatic knife scene with the mysterious shadow man and the baby was particularly eye-watering but was in keeping with the dynamic plot.
I really admired the way Sophie Kirtley didn't shy away from the difficult issues of life. Whether in the Stone Age or in modern time, she beautifully showed how every family can endure terrible times which ignite the darkest of fears. Kirtley guides Charlie and the reader gently to the conclusion that these challenges need to be faced with bravery and strength and it is only by helping Harby with his plight that Charlie comes to face his own. It was particularly poignant that Charlie initially couldn't accept the help of his closest friends, but had to find his own way back in (and to) his own time. This highlighted the sense of isolation a person goes through when things are tough.
Fans of Stig of the Dump will find this a delight but I would highly recommend that all middle grade readers give it a go. It is an adventure story with a difference. The setting is memorable in it's beauty yet menacing silence. The tone feels reflective. Compared to other current middle grade adventures on the market, this feels slower and tamer in pace but makes for a deeper impact on the soul.
This is Sophie Kirtley's debut novel and I look forward to seeing what comes next.
Profile Image for Matthew.
55 reviews24 followers
February 27, 2020
‘Maybe that’s what spirit song is made of - it’s not made of words or even of music - it’s made of the spirits of us creatures who are brave enough to look each other square in the eye and say this is me and this is you and we’re both fierce and we’re both afraid. Equals. As one.’

Charlie Merriam has always wanted a baby brother and the night before their twelfth birthday they get their wish and Dara is born. When Charlie finds out that Dara has a problem in his heart they run away into the forest to shut out the hurt and fear of what might happen. That’s when they come across a body in the river. The forest has changed: somehow Charlie has travelled back in time to the Stone Age.

‘The Wild Way Home’ focusses on two characters: Charlie and Harby who meet when Charlie finds themselves lost in the Stone Age. To begin with their interactions were a bit turbulent, Harby was concussed (conk cushion!) and the difference in language made things hard for them. Both of these characters overcame these though developing a really nice friendship. It was great to see these characters looking out for each other as they navigated the forrest facing wolves, bears and other dangers and ultimately helping each other find home. Charlie was written really interestingly, throughout the book they are not given a gender which really allows you to immerse yourself into the story and experience what Charlie is going through. Anyone can be Charlie. The only downside to the amazing development of Charlie and Harby is that other characters feel a little less memorable with the exception of Lamont who I just found to be unlikeable.

There are two main storylines in ‘The Wild Way Home’ both of which were engaging, particularly finding out what happened to Harby that led to him being half drowned in the river. Despite these being the only real plots, the book being more character driven and focussing on the development of Charlie and Harby, ‘The Wild Way Home’ never feels stretched out. The pacing is really fast with chapters running straight into each other with very few time jumps, making the book really hard to put down. The ending of both of the plots were satisfying, heartfelt and filled with hope although I really would have liked the time-travel aspect to have been explained a bit better rather then left as it is here.

This was a really interesting debut and I’d be interested in reading more from Sophie Kirtley in the future!

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me an early copy of ‘The Wild Way Home’.

+ Fast paced
+ Great character development
+ Funny and heartfelt
Profile Image for Kidliomag .
1,192 reviews46 followers
October 18, 2020
The wild way home is one such book which anyone can read irrespective of their age. Book is a mix of fantasy and mystery which keeps the reader fall in love with the book all over again. Book cover is also very beautiful and enough to grab the attention of readers.
Story is about Charlie, a 12 year old girl  who is longing for a brother  but when her brother is born on her birthday with a serious heart condition, Charlie's world is turned upside down. and she feels like her parents are not her parents anymore they are changed. She was upset and afraid, Charlie flees the hospital and makes for the ancient forest on the edge of town . Charlie finds a boy floating face-down in the stream, injured, but alive. It's become a place as strange and wild as the boy dressed in deerskins. She calls her friends Lamont and Beaky  for help but no one is there for help.What follows is a wild, big-hearted adventure as Charlie and the Stone Age boy set out together to find what they have lost – their courage, their hope, their family and their way home.
This book is a wonderful read which takes you on an adventurous journey to stone age.I just loved the bonding Charlie shares with her parents and friends .there are not too many characters so easy to track the story. Flow of the story is also very good so anyone can finish it in one or two days.The language used by the author is also very easy and lucid. I really like the way the author truly captures the beauty of the wood and stone age in this book also teaches us to keep courage and faith in ourself even in the darkest phase of our life.
Profile Image for Rebecca Rouillard.
Author 2 books34 followers
May 19, 2020
All Charlie has ever wanted is a little brother or sister, and when his wish is finally granted on his twelfth birthday, he resolves to be the perfect big brother. But when Charlie’s little brother is diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, Charlie runs away to the forest that has always been his refuge. But something in the forest has changed: Charlie finds himself caught up in a Stone-Age quest that will challenge him and ultimately give him the courage to be the big brother he wants to be.

There are some major challenges about writing a story set in the Stone Age, the language barrier in particular, but Sophie Kirtley makes the imaginative leap with ease and flair to create a sincere friendship between Charlie and ‘Harby’, a Stone Age boy, despite the thousands of years that separate them.

The Wild Way Home is a page-turning adventure, but also a wonderful tribute to the lingering magic to be found in all wild places.
Profile Image for Yasmin.
Author 6 books174 followers
May 31, 2020
Obvs a bit biased as I'm friends with her, but Sophie Kirtley has the most beautiful writing. Her word choice, sentence length, description, everything, just seems so effortless. I think that's the major pull of this book, how immersive the writing is - how deeply and vividly you find yourself in the middle of Mandel forest.

Charlie is a great protagonist and I loved the character development here - the build up to having a younger sibling and then the shock of the reality. The fears and worries Charlie has are real and relatable, and Charlie's response to it all is equally understandable.

The friendship between Charlie and Harby/Hartboy is SO PURE AND LOVELY and omg it's just so cute and an absolute treat to follow them on their journey. There are so many beautiful moments between the two, despite all their differences and language barriers, they manage to work together.

All in all, a most fantastic debut.
September 22, 2020
The Wild Way home is a brilliant time-slip adventure which sees Charlie travel back to the Stone Age with no obvious way to get home!

The story focuses on two children separated by time but both facing upheaval within their families. When they are unexpectedly pulled together the reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of an adventure filled with wolves and angry cavemen! As well as excitement there’s genuine sadness which makes this quite an emotional read in parts.

Young readers will love the short snappy chapters and the great relationship between Charlie and Hartboy. The story delves into a number of issues that would make great conversation starters for those studying the Stone Age as a topic at school.

Both an emotional and enjoyable read, I would happily recommend this to readers aged 9+.
Profile Image for Stephen Connor.
380 reviews6 followers
September 27, 2020
Charlie’s life is turned upside down when his baby brother is born with a problem with his heart. Charlie doesn’t know how to process the uncertainty of this news, so runs away, and somehow finds himself back in the Stone Age, where he meets a new friend called Harby.

It becomes clear that there are parallels between the two: they are both lost, figuratively and literally. Harby is concerned with ‘Mothga’, and Charlie resolves to help Harby. The friendship they develop is true and full of love.

I really enjoyed this. I could imagine reading this in class and hearing the groans as a chapter ended in the perfect place for more, and the ending packs a powerful punch. Friendship, fear, and a sort of coming-of-age story. Just lovely.
Profile Image for Anna || BooksandBookends.
391 reviews34 followers
May 24, 2020
This was an absolutely stunning MG fantasy book. The writing was beautifully powerful and descriptive, which made for a real feast for the senses. This threw books like Ug and Littlenose to the wayside completely. If I was looking for a Stone Age book to teach with, this would be high up on the list. It doesn't just show you a view of the Stone Age, it highlights the importance of family and friendship too!

The blurb sold me on this book and I'm so glad I got the chance to read it. Charlie has always longed for a younger sibling and when his sibling is born with a chronic illness, he doesn't know what to do or how to cope. He runs into the familiar forest near the hospital and is transported back in time after seeing a young boy lying upside down in the stream.

I was so emotionally invested in this book and the gorgeous characters. Charlie has such a wonderfully supportive family and such a great bond with the mystery character he finds in the forest. I absolutely loved the fact this book kept me guessing throughout.

A brilliant book that is well worth reading!
Profile Image for Emma.
276 reviews6 followers
July 28, 2020
This is a beautiful story of how 2 young boys helped each other manage there emotions and grief. Charlie & Harby are from two different times but the journey they go on can be felt by everyone. This is a fabulous tale which I think will help children to perhaps understand some of the feelings they might come into contact with. There is also plenty of adventure to keep them entertained. As an adult I'm not scared to say this did have me in tears at the end. I found myself quite fond of the 2 main characters. 4.5 stars but ill round up to 5. Big thumbs up.
Profile Image for Vicky.
368 reviews16 followers
August 8, 2020
A fast paced and excellent adventure through the stone age! I really enjoyed this tale of family and bravery. Charlie, the main character, was extremely likeable and I felt their plight so intensely. Their clear and obvious love for their little brother and panic with not knowing what to do, tugged at the heart strings and compelled me to read on. I liked how this was compared with Harby’s life in the Stone Age and linked to his search for Mothga. I really felt like I experienced the story along with the characters.
Profile Image for Sabrina.
1,277 reviews26 followers
June 17, 2020
Charlie is lost. This isn't the familiar Mendel forest that Charlie knows so well. Then Charlie finds an injured boy and realises this is actually a different time, rather than place. Maybe by helping new friend Harby, they can both go home.
I loved Charlie and Harby and their motto - Make Safe. Together they learn that even though sometimes you really want to run away from all your problems, you have to face them as they won't just go away.
Lots of mystery and such a touching story.
Profile Image for Jamie Rose.
354 reviews11 followers
August 10, 2020
Slow-starting but once the story got going it kept up the pace and excitement all the way to the end. Loved watching the trust and friendship grow between Charlie and Hartboy though and Charlie dealing with the complicated feelings about the birth of his brother and the problems he was having was well done and felt very realistic.
Profile Image for Sonali Dabade.
Author 4 books313 followers
October 13, 2020
Oh I love this book! There's so much love in here, so many revelations, so many points about understanding the importance of family and friends that it almost brought me to tears. ALMOST!

I'll talk more about this book in my October wrap up video.

YouTube channel: youtube.com/TheMelodramaticBookworm
Profile Image for Sue.
945 reviews2 followers
May 31, 2022
This is cute! Charlie Merriam (gender unknown!) runs off into the woods when their baby brother is born, frustrated and confused about the baby's health problems. Charlie is magically transported to the Stone Age where they have an adventure with Harby, a boy who has lost his memory and is looking for his sister. The communication is a bit me-Tarzan-you-Jane for this adult reader, but I think kids would really enjoy the story and the communication wouldn't bother them. Fun adventure!
March 3, 2020
What a wonderful book. First-time author Sophie Kirtley has created a gripping prehistoric time-travel adventure interwoven with a profound meditation on family, belonging and love.

The main character, Charlie, a 12-year-old struggling to come to terms with the reality of a new baby sibling, is vividly drawn with an emotional honesty that resonates through the book. The fact that his/her gender is never specified, leaving it to the individual reader to decide, will hopefully only increase its appeal to young readers.

The story is fast and exciting, sweeping the reader along, with many a cliffhanger along the way. It is also deeply moving - Kirtley may have aimed it at older children but it brought this forty-something man to tears at least three times. This depth, along with Kirtley’s lyrical turn of phrase, marks The Wild Way Home out as something a bit special.
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