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Charlotte Sometimes Paperback – 5 Aug 1999

31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Red Fox; New edition edition (5 Aug. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099267195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099267195
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,874,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

On Charlotte's first night at boarding school, she somehow slips back forty years! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Penelope Farmer lives in Birmingham and has two grown-up children. She is the author of many books, including A Castle of Bone and The Summer Birds. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By G. Buchanan on 23 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a superbly written children's book from the late 1960s and republished in the 1990s. There is plenty of mystery and you never quite work out why Charlotte is mysteriously transposed in time back to the first world war until the last few pages. I think it's one for slightly older children, perhaps around 10-13, as there are many elements in it around the history of the 1914-18 war which the imaginative teacher could include in class lessons.
It's a great read and I found it difficult to put down, coming back to it fresh after last reading it in my own childhood.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ed Sexton on 9 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
I heard about this book through my love of the band the Cure. They released a single in 1981 based on the book also called Charlotte Sometimes. The lyrics evoke a magical story and I was intrigued to get immersed in it.

The story drags you in from the first page and it's fascinating to see Charlotte living in an unfamiliar environment together with the plot twists within this. It really is the sort of book that once you start reading you pick up every moment of the day that you can. Charlotte Sometimes is a children's book so I found it easy reading although the book will be fascinating reading for both children and adults.

There is an additional ending not included in this version of the book (according to the reviews here and wikipedia) so I'm going to start searching second hand book shops and ebay to find an old copy. In some ways a copy of the book covered in dust from the back of some strange old book store would really add to the tale!

If you're a fan of magical and eerie stories then read this book. I'd love for Tim Burton or Terry Gilliam to turn it into a film! Let's start the campaign here...
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this as a child and now have re-read it as an adult. It was fascinating both times. I think that it gives you a real feeling of what it would be like to live just after the First World War, and the descriptions of the mutilated soldiers coming off the train was memorable. I think this is the sort of book that will open a person up to enjoying the literature of the era, at a later time in their lives, particularly War Poetry. One of the best things about the book is the way the author gets you to know the character of Clare, despite the fact that the reader never meets her directly. It makes it all the more difficult to accept what happened to her, (I won't spoil it for the reader.) Its a great book, and should be more famous than it is.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A. Liebowitz on 14 May 2007
Format: Paperback
No, it's not your imagination. In the pre-1985 book at the end, Charlotte receives a package from adult-Emily which contains a letter from Emily and the toys they had played with, which Miss Agnes had given them as children over forty years ago. This last part is NOT in the 1985 revised edition for unknown reasons. I think that's too bad as it's rather wonderful. I have no idea why it was edited; perhaps some research into Penelope Farmer (who still writes and has a blog) would answer the question!

Alley
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. Ward on 23 Jan. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There is something haunting about this book by Penelope Farmer. It is certainly a mystery (and I am not going to give away what it was). Even though I have a poor memory, this book comes back to haunt me time and time again. I suppose it is because it is based on a real event in history. It was one that I had never heard of before I read the book but it made me look it up to see if it was true (and it was). It was something quite dramatic, even more than World War one and the plot revolves around this real life catastrophe.
Happy reading !
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Charlotte Sometimes is one of my very favorite book, hands down, but i have a question about it that is driving me nuts! The first time I read it, I read a paperback cover lent to me by a classmate. Then, a few years later, I took the book out of the library; it was an older hardcover copy, and the ending was different! Has anyone had the same experience with this book, or knows anything about this? I don't know how to find out why this would be. (I must say, though, that it's certainly added to the innate mystery and beautiful eeriness of the story.) Anyway, any help would be appreciated! Thank you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Norris-Kay on 8 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Charlotte Sometimes, initially written for children, can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Indeed, once I started reading it, I found it impossible to put down until I had reached the last page of this amazing story. Being a man, this is difficult for me to admit, but tears of emotion were streaming down my face, especially when reading the last two chapters. No wonder this book has become a classic. It's superb, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone who likes a gripping and highly original book.

- David Norris-Kay
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Diana on 24 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book years ago and am lucky enough to have a copy with the original ending, ie where the toys that they played with are sent to Charlotte from the now-adult Emily. This is a thought-provoking books and as enjoyable for adults as for children. The story is basically about Charlotte, a new girl at boarding school, who goes to sleep and wakes up to find herself back in WW1 times, having changed places with a girl called Clare. She's sufficiently like Clare for the others not to notice, except for Clare's younger sister, Emily. As the story progresses, the two girls change places again, until Charlotte finds herself trapped in the past and unable to get back to her own time. I won't spoil the story by telling what happens, suffice it to say there is a - sort of - happy ending.

Why is this story so popular and so haunting? I think all stories of time-travelling have a fascination of their own and this one is no exception. It's beautifully written by Penelope Farmer and we're given a glimpse of what life might have been like all those years ago for very ordinary schoolgirls at a very ordinary school but at an extraordinary time in history. There are some memorable descriptions of events that must have been quite commonplace then, such as returning wounded soldiers and a family learning the fate of their soldier son. There's the eeriness of the seance, not perhaps to everyone's taste, as the younger reviewer here makes clear, but to me an important part of the overall atmosphere of the book. And there's the relationship between Charlotte and Emily, the 'younger sister' she becomes fond of during her time in the past, plus Charlotte's own feelings about what's happening to her and how she manages to cope in an era so different - and yet in some ways quite like - her own.
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