Review: The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley

Blurb: When Charlie’s baby brother Dara is born with a problem in his heart, Charlie RUNS. Runs to the forest, with its sheltering leaves that shut out trouble and hurt and fear. But in the forest is a boy, lying in the river, breathing, though only just. And when Charlie goes for help, the forest has changed. Now it’s something vast and strange. Something ancient. Something WILD. And Charlie is a long, long way from home.


Title: The Wild Way Home

Author: Sophie Kirtley

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s, part of Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre: Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure



When Charlie’s long awaited baby brother is born, there’s talk of a heart problem. Everything’s changing and Charlie needs to get away. So they run to the forest, home of childhood games and adventure, only to find themselves in another place entirely… the Stone Age!

I loved this book so much – everything from the characters to the story had me hooked. Charlie is such a lovely character to be able to read the point of view of. They’re kind and caring, clever and brilliant at problem solving. Where most people would have a bit of a panic at being flung back in time unexpectedly, Charlie is far more concerned with helping the boy she finds in the river who’s sustained a nasty head wound. The story takes us on an adventure with scary prehistoric predators, strange men with spears and an two lives that aren’t as different as they may seem. The message through it all is the importance of family and being there for each other in times of need – such a beautiful message to give any readers, especially those aged 9-12. This story is particularly well written, taking us back in time with descriptions that put us right there in the action, and overall an excellent read for anyone who loves adventure stories.

One of my favourite things about this book is that we never find out if Charlie is a boy or a girl. I love this as it means it’s really up to the reader to envision their own Charlie and really use their imaginations. This is also a plus as, working as a bookseller, I find that children seem to want to read stories with a main character that’s the same gender as them – with this book, it’s open to everyone!

As for what I disliked, there really wasn’t much. I would have loved to know what happened to send Charlie back to the Stone Age but that’s probably own curiosity. Perhaps if I was amongst the target age range for this book I would have come up with my own ideas already ๐Ÿ˜‚

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure stories with a dash of history and characters that have fantastically big hearts.


Rating: 4.5/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? Iโ€™d love to know!

You can always find me over on Twitter if youโ€™d like to discuss this book (or any others that Iโ€™ve featured) in more detail ๐Ÿ˜Œ

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