Monday, February 10, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Back to Blackbrick

This little gem, Back to Blackbrick, caught my eye while I browsed a local bookstore one day. I'd never heard of the title, but its retro-style cover and colors (it released in 2013, however) enticed me pick it up and read the jacket flap. And I was hooked. Up to the checkout I marched, plopped my money down, drove home, and read.

The premise: Cosmo's granddad is losing his memory; his mind is failing. But when he gives Cosmo an old key and insists he must journey to Blackbrick (and bring a pen and paper), Cosmo promises he will. He uses the key and steps back in time about seventy years -- to when his granddad was only 16.

What I loved: The love and friendship between Cosmo and his granddad. Neither is perfect, but their love and devotion to one another are. This is a book about the heartbreak of memory loss and being forgotten by someone who loves you. But it's more than that. It's about the power of love and family. Think of it as an Irish twist on the 1980's movie Back to the Future.

Back to Blackbrick is an upper middle grade read; the inside cover states ages 10-14. In my opinion, there are not enough books geared for this audience, for the in-betweeners -- the not-quite MG but not-quite YA either. And this books contains some difficult issues, things that may be hard to understand and absorb for younger readers, so take heed that it reads older than much middle grade.

For more middle grade recommends, follow the links on
Happy middle grade reading, 

26 comments:

  1. The premise of this sounded so good, and I love time travel. The cover was great as well, but this fell a tiny bit short for me.

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  2. Sounds interesting, Barbara. And, I love the cover!

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  3. This sounds like a book I might enjoy. Thanks for the feature, Barbara!

    ~Akoss

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  4. Sounds like a great book. I hadn't heard of it. Thanks for sharing it.

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  5. Aw, I love the sound of it!! And it's a great cover.

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  6. This one had escaped my notice--sounds great!

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  7. I also saw this book at my local bookstore, but with a different darker cover. My hands were already filled with other literary treasures, so I didn't pick it up then, but your review piqued my interest. Thanks for featuring, I don't remember seeing the author's name elsewhere, so maybe this is her debut novel.

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    1. I've seen the different cover, too, but love this one. She's Irish and this was her debut. Her next book comes out in June.

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  8. How wonderful that you were so intrigued by the cover that you BOUGHT the book! (I'm afraid I usually head to the library--or pray to win a contest.)

    I love time travel, so I will be sure to keep an eye out for this one.

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  9. This sounds like a wonderful story. It's going on my TBR list.

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  10. It's so hard to watch a loved one lose their memories to dementia or Alzheimer's. I'm sure there are lots of kids out there who can relate. Sounds like one I'm going to want to read. Thanks for the review, Barbara.

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  11. Thanks for the review. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  12. What a great sounding story! I love the name Cosmo. How can you not like that name? ;)

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  13. I haven't heard of this book before, but I love the sound of the premise. And I totally agree with you about the cover--it's always nice when something new has a retro feel!

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  14. I love how you put it, Barbara: Back to the Future with an Irish twist. :)

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  15. Will watch for and read this one. Thanks Barbara. It is so nice when we stumble upon a great read!

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  16. I'm going to have to get this one. It sounds perfect for my grandson (and for me!). Thanks for the review.

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  17. I agree. I'd love more in-betweener books to choose from. Thanks for this one.

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  18. I agree we need more in-betweener stuff too :-) Sounds like a winner!

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  19. I have never heard of this one, but I can see why the cover drew you in! It sounds like a riveting story. I like that the MC goes back in time and meets a younger version of his grandpa. Also, I grew up with Back to the Future- so that aspect appeals to me too! :) Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jess

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  20. Sounds intriguing! I love the whole idea of a boy traveling back to his grandfather's day. I'll be checking this one out.

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  21. This sounds great! I'm always looking for good MG reads. The cover would have drawn me in, as well.

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  22. This is the book you mentioned in your comment, I was going to ask you which one it was because I love these kind of "love stories" too. I'm writing a story right now with a kind of grandpa character in it and he's really growing on me. Adding this book.

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  23. Sounds like a unique story. Aging, memory loss and dementia are becoming more and more prevalent, I think, especially with younger people having grandparents live longer, etc. Sounds like a great take on the issue.

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  24. This sounds fantastic. I love time travel. Thanks for the spotlight.

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  25. What a wonder sounding book! Good Luck to Sarah Moore Fitzgerald.

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Comments. Yay! They're almost as good as chocolate. Almost.