The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly
Charlie O’Reilly is an only child. Which is why it makes everyone uncomfortable when he talks about his brother. Liam, his eight-year-old kid brother, who, up until a year ago, slept in the bunk above Charlie, took pride in being as annoying as possible, and was the only person who could make Charlie laugh until it hurt.Then came the morning when the bunk, and Liam, disappeared forever. No one even remembers him—not Charlie’s mother, who has been lost in her own troubles; and not Charlie’s father, who is gone frequently on business trips. The only person who believes Charlie is his best friend, Ana—even if she has no memory of Liam, she is as determined as Charlie is to figure out what happened to him.The search seems hopeless—until Charlie receives a mysterious note, written in Liam’s handwriting. The note leads Charlie and Ana to make some profound discoveries about a magic they didn’t know existed, and they soon realize that if they're going to save Liam, they may need to risk being forgotten themselves, forever.

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly Details

TitleThe Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 5th, 2019
PublisherWalden Pond Press
ISBN-139780062679666
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mystery, Fiction

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusFor the last year, Charlie has maintained that he used to have a younger brother named Liam, but he disappeared one night and no one in his family ever remembered him. All of his things were just gone. Charlie's best friend Ana supports him, even if she doesn't completely believe him, and Charlie needs this support because for the last year his mother has been so depressed that she doesn't even care for him properly. As the anniversary of the disappearance approaches, Ch E ARC from Edelweiss PlusFor the last year, Charlie has maintained that he used to have a younger brother named Liam, but he disappeared one night and no one in his family ever remembered him. All of his things were just gone. Charlie's best friend Ana supports him, even if she doesn't completely believe him, and Charlie needs this support because for the last year his mother has been so depressed that she doesn't even care for him properly. As the anniversary of the disappearance approaches, Charlie is determined to find out what happened, and gets a tip to check with Jonathon, a teen coach for his baseball team. Jonathon confirms that Charlie could be right-- he himself was once gone, but chose to return. The problem is that Liam has wished that he was never born, and his wish was granted. Johnathon was in a similar position (he injured his brother badly, but one he disappeared, so did the brother's injuries), and not just creeps on his family, since they no longer recognize him. He knows a way that Charlie can get Liam back, but it will be difficult. Charlie is also having vivid dreams about an Irish immigrant family who came to the US to escape the Irish Potato Famine. When Ana, Jonathon and Charlie go to an old, burnt out asylum where Liam is purportedly being held, these elements coalesce, many secrets are revealed, and Charlie has to find a way to make his family whole again. Strengths: This had some creepy moments-- one character in the asylum in particular is quite scary, but I don't want to ruin the surprise. There are a lot of interesting threads that are woven together nicely, and even though some are a bit predictable, the results are often surprising and coalesce in a way middle grade readers can understand. Loads of heartfelt descriptions of parental and sibling love, unconditional forgiveness, and other emotions that most people think are great. I can see this being a class read aloud, with lots of good discussion.Weaknesses: Not a great cover, and the themes of love and forgiveness overshadow the creepy aspects. I need more creepy books, but I'm just not sure about this one.What I really think: I see this being checked out and then returned for not being creepy soon enough. The first few pages are everything for middle grade readers, and the haunted house on the cover but the first chapter of parental depression feels like a bait-and-switch.Personal note: It's bad enough that middle grade parents in novels frequently become so grief stricken over a death of a child that they become incompetent-- now we have a parent who doesn't even remember the loss of a child and can't go on. This is beyond insulting. Maybe authors are trying to give students the message that they need to be careful with their lives so they don't destroy their parents and I should be grateful, but it's just hard to feel that way. At the very least, if we have depressed parents, can we get them some therapy?
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  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC copy of this book from EdelweissThis was such a fun book! I don't want to get too into the plot because it actually gets pretty involved [for a middle grade book at least] and throws a few curve balls at you towards the end, but I will just say that I was actually worried a bit about the length of the book before I started and once I got into it, it kept my interest and I never felt like it dragged at all. It was a fun read and definitely a very original concept. Overall it's j I received an ARC copy of this book from EdelweissThis was such a fun book! I don't want to get too into the plot because it actually gets pretty involved [for a middle grade book at least] and throws a few curve balls at you towards the end, but I will just say that I was actually worried a bit about the length of the book before I started and once I got into it, it kept my interest and I never felt like it dragged at all. It was a fun read and definitely a very original concept. Overall it's just a really cute story about finding your place in your family and the world in general and how even though there are things that may happen in your life that are bad it's always important to keep going and keep trying.
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  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    This was a book that had pieces that fit together seamlessly and pieces you struggled to see how and where they would fit. But once they did and you saw it all put together, it was amazing.
  • Kristin Crouch
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author for providing a copy of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly to collabookation for review. Review:Remember when you were a kid and in a fit of sadness/regret/rage you wished you had never been born? This book walks Charlie and his brother, Liam, down that path.Last year Charlie went to bed on the eve of his birthday hoping he'd be gifted his own room. His little brother Liam is driving him crazy! When he wakes, Liam isn't in his room anymore, but he isn't anywhere else e Thank you to the author for providing a copy of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly to collabookation for review. Review:Remember when you were a kid and in a fit of sadness/regret/rage you wished you had never been born? This book walks Charlie and his brother, Liam, down that path.Last year Charlie went to bed on the eve of his birthday hoping he'd be gifted his own room. His little brother Liam is driving him crazy! When he wakes, Liam isn't in his room anymore, but he isn't anywhere else either. When he finds that his parents have no recollection of a little brother named Liam, Charlie's life changes forever. Ansari creates a stunning world of melancholic mystery. A complex cast of characters all help to put the puzzle together~ and the mystery is multifaceted and intriguing. Several elements were especially appealing to me: the unbreakable friendship between Charlie and Ana, the new bonds formed over the course of the journey, and the eerie mood throughout the tale. But what I loved most were the themes of unconditional love, remorse, and forgiveness that drive the story forward. The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly is a wonderful addition for any classroom~ but I think it'd be a phenomenal bedtime story to share with an older child. It's definitely a book to be shared with someone you love.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    The mystery of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly involves what happened between these two brothers, we know it was something major, but what could've been so bad that caused one brother to make a wish leading to the disappearance of the other? Early in the story, Charlie begins to have bad dreams, images of himself during the 1800s in Ireland and then later immigrating to the United States. He's not quite sure whether the dreams are trying to tell him something, but he feels a connection exi The mystery of The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly involves what happened between these two brothers, we know it was something major, but what could've been so bad that caused one brother to make a wish leading to the disappearance of the other? Early in the story, Charlie begins to have bad dreams, images of himself during the 1800s in Ireland and then later immigrating to the United States. He's not quite sure whether the dreams are trying to tell him something, but he feels a connection exists between him and the people in his dreams. Then mysterious things begin to happen at home, his comic books have been rifled through and a note appears telling him to talk to his assistant baseball coach, Jonathan. It's Jonathan who helps fill in the details about what might have happened to Liam. Jonathan relays that he was a child who once disappeared and had his existence eliminated after he made a wish to never be born. Yet, now he's back, although none of his family recognizes him. Jonathan believes that he has a way for Charlie to get his brother back and with Ana's help they develop a plan to find Liam. Jonathan, Charlie, and Ana enter the Asylum for Orphaned Children, a place that was founded over 180 years ago and sits hidden away on the remains of the burned out building. It's within the Asylum that Charlie is reunited with Liam and learns the truth about what happened on the night prior to his birthday and the secrets that Jonathan has been hiding from Charlie are also revealed. Their situation soon becomes dire when they all learn that there may not be a way of getting back home after all. That Brona, the creepy woman who runs the Asylum may have planned for them to be trapped with her after all. Brona reminded me a lot of the White Witch from The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, the way in which her voice draws Charlie in, comforts him, the dotting causing him to forget his purpose for being in the Asylum. She's not cold or evil per se but she does try to manipulate him, play on his emotions and there is some creepiness to her motives that comes together nicely toward the end of the book. Another aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was the theme of forgiveness. How the story asks the question of whether we can forgive ourselves for our wrongs, the idea that a life living must include all the good and bad moments. It's the kind of book that leaves a lot of food for thought. **Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via a Giveaway hosted at Word Spelunking for Middle-Grade March**
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  • Kellee
    January 1, 1970
    Read the flagged passage on my blog post… I’ll wait…Welcome back. Those are the first few paragraphs of the book. Wow, right?! One of my favorite beginnings ever, and I was so excited to share it with anyone who would listen (I tweeted it, I read it to my students, I read it to anyone!) And yes, the rest of the book lives up to the expectations of that amazing start.I was so impressed with the crafting of this novel, specifically as a debut novel. The author combines narratives, adds twists and Read the flagged passage on my blog post… I’ll wait…Welcome back. Those are the first few paragraphs of the book. Wow, right?! One of my favorite beginnings ever, and I was so excited to share it with anyone who would listen (I tweeted it, I read it to my students, I read it to anyone!) And yes, the rest of the book lives up to the expectations of that amazing start.I was so impressed with the crafting of this novel, specifically as a debut novel. The author combines narratives, adds twists and turns, and keeps you guessing throughout the novel. The direction you think the novel is going to go is ever changing so predictions are impossible to make. All of these aspects made for an enjoyable novel that, as the name suggests, is a puzzle waiting to be put together.Rebecca K.S. Ansari also did a wonderful job threading different big ideas throughout the book: acceptance, guilt, friendship, hope, trust, depression. Different sections of the book highlight these different big ideas and could be used for great discussions. The book also, as you can see, deals with some really tough and dark big ideas, but I think this narrative will give many students a jumping off point for talking about some of the struggles and ideas in Charlie’s story.And the characters in the book are well-crafted and multi-dimensional. Each character has a full story that is developed to allow the reader to truly get to know the world that Charlie is adventuring in. I specifically loved the friendship between Charlie and Ana–an unexpected friendship that was built on trust, believing, and support.Full review with teaching tools and educators' guide: http://www.unleashingreaders.com/?p=1...
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly is a tale about love, loss, family and friendship while highlighting the healing power of forgiveness for ourselves and others. It has just the right mix of mystery, fantasy and spookiness to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time I read this book. Ms. Ansari did an amazing job writing this story. I found this book to be a powerfully written tale that grabbed my heart-strings and still hasn’t let them go! I received this book for free. A favorable re The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly is a tale about love, loss, family and friendship while highlighting the healing power of forgiveness for ourselves and others. It has just the right mix of mystery, fantasy and spookiness to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time I read this book. Ms. Ansari did an amazing job writing this story. I found this book to be a powerfully written tale that grabbed my heart-strings and still hasn’t let them go! I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own. Thank you to Ms. Anasari, Walden Pond Press and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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  • Ms Threlkeld
    January 1, 1970
    Compelling, complex and creepy mystery.
  • Tory
    January 1, 1970
    This one just didn't ever click for me. The super-cheesy dialogue kept pulling me out of the story (not to mention "Jonathon"'s name -- ugh, WHY spell it that way?) and I couldn't stay focused. I THINK a lot of the disparate pieces of the story ended up working out and piecing together, but as I read, that piecing-together never felt very natural. I appear to be the only one who feels that way, so maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind to read it? I dunno, but this isn't one I'll be passing alon This one just didn't ever click for me. The super-cheesy dialogue kept pulling me out of the story (not to mention "Jonathon"'s name -- ugh, WHY spell it that way?) and I couldn't stay focused. I THINK a lot of the disparate pieces of the story ended up working out and piecing together, but as I read, that piecing-together never felt very natural. I appear to be the only one who feels that way, so maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind to read it? I dunno, but this isn't one I'll be passing along to further readers.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This book is astonishingly good. I'm not going to say anything about the plot, because I went into it knowing nothing about it, and I encourage you to keep as much of it as mystery as possible, because the wonder of having it unfold as you read it is worth preserving. I will say this: it's beautiful, heartbreaking, wondrous, and lovely. And also that it's definitely one of those "just one more chapter" books, to the point where I gave in and left my to-do list behind so I could sit on the couch This book is astonishingly good. I'm not going to say anything about the plot, because I went into it knowing nothing about it, and I encourage you to keep as much of it as mystery as possible, because the wonder of having it unfold as you read it is worth preserving. I will say this: it's beautiful, heartbreaking, wondrous, and lovely. And also that it's definitely one of those "just one more chapter" books, to the point where I gave in and left my to-do list behind so I could sit on the couch and finish it all. I had to find out what happened.My 8-year-old and 10-year-old wanted to know what book had me so riveted, and I booktalked it to them, and now they're trying to decide who gets to read it next. It's one of those -- you won't be able to put it down, and you'll both want to savor it and also race through it so you can find out what happens. And then you'll think of a long list of readers who you can't wait to pass it on to.
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author for sharing this one with our #bookexpedition group! For middle grade fans of mystery and fantasy, this story tells the tale of Charlie O’ Reilly and the search for his missing younger brother named Liam. The only problem...no one remembers Liam but Charlie. With plenty of magic and themes of love, forgiveness, and family, this debut middle grade read will be a hit! Coming in March 2019.
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  • Julie Kirchner
    January 1, 1970
    This book came to me via an arc from the author. This is a story about Charlie who remembers something about his life that his parents seem to forget...he had a brother named Liam. One day Charlie woke up and no one remembers his brother except him. Only his best friend will humor his thoughts about the possibility his brother is still alive and will come back one day. Full of twists and turns and a bit of mystery, this will be a book that fantasy lovers will want to get their hands on.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Summary (book jacket) Charlie O’Reilly is an only child. Which is why it makes everyone uncomfortable when he talks about his brother Liam, his eight-year-old kid brother, who, up until a year ago, slept in the bunk above Charlie, took pride in being as annoying as possible, and was the only person who could make Charlie laugh until it hurt.Then came the morning when the bunk, and Liam, disappeared forever. No one even remembers him—not Charlie’s mother, who has been lost in her own troubles; an Summary (book jacket) Charlie O’Reilly is an only child. Which is why it makes everyone uncomfortable when he talks about his brother Liam, his eight-year-old kid brother, who, up until a year ago, slept in the bunk above Charlie, took pride in being as annoying as possible, and was the only person who could make Charlie laugh until it hurt.Then came the morning when the bunk, and Liam, disappeared forever. No one even remembers him—not Charlie’s mother, who has been lost in her own troubles; and not Charlie’s father, who is gone frequently on business trips. The only person who believes Charlie is his best friend, Ana—even if she has no memory of Liam, she is as determined as Charlie is to figure out what happened to him.The search seems hopeless—until Charlie receives a mysterious note, written in Liam’s handwriting. The note leads Charlie and Ana to make some profound discoveries about a magic they didn’t know existed, and they soon realize that if they're going to save Liam, they may need to risk being forgotten themselves, forever.CommentsThis book is a curious mix of realistic fiction, historical fiction and fantasy. The first two sentences of the book drew me in. The realistic fiction aspects are wonderfully written and ring true to a family in distress. We can see that Charlie’s mom is suffering from some sort of depression, and we can feel Charlie’s angst over his missing brother. His only solace is his friend Ana, who vows to help him find Liam, even though she can't remember him either.Very quickly the plot thickens and the historical fiction and fantasy aspects kick in. Charlie begins having vivid dreams of his life as a boy named Kiernan, in Ireland during the potato famine and his journey to America with his family. It is not a happy story, and his Irish dream family experiences starvation and death in Ireland, aboard their ship to America and while living in New York. What does this all mean, and how does it relate to Liam?When Charlie finds a note in his room suggesting they talk to Jonathan, the new assistant baseball coach, Charlie and Ana discover there might be hope to save Liam after all. It means entering the spooky abandoned orphanage asylum at the top of the hill. There they find not only Liam, but other missing children as well. These children have all been “gathered “by the head mistress who also turns out to be the Irish mother of Charlie’s dreams – Brona. She intends to protect them from their past lives/mistakes and save them from the cruelty of the outside world. And, by the way, she thinks Charlie is her long gone son Kiernan returned to her and she is not about to let him go.As Charlie and his friends struggle to find a way to escape, they must deal with magic, ghosts, secret passages, hidden messages. There are constant plot twists and turns. Some are surprising, some are heartbreaking. Things are not always what they seem to be and people are not always who they say they are. The characters are well written and have depth, particularly Charlie and Ana. I loved their teasing, competitive preteen relationship. Once enemies, they are now thick as thieves. Brona’s character however is not as well developed and her interactions with Charlie become repetitive and tiresome. Overall, I liked this book and its original and suspenseful plot. It reminds me of a Margaret Peterson Haddix book. The writing is first rate, and the characters are well developed. My only negative is that Charlie and his friends enter the fantasy world very early on in the story, and their time there trying to escape begins to drag. To her credit though, the author’s many little plot twists kept the story going. Example – what happens to asylum residents when they turn eighteen? Besides being a suspenseful mystery, this book is also a story of friendship, family bonds and forgiveness to yourself and others. On a side note, there is a gay character.Best for upper middle grade readers, boys would definitely like this book but it will appeal to girls as well. There is no bad language and no inappropriate situations.
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  • Laurynw
    January 1, 1970
    This book kept me entertained and interested. The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly is about a family who loses their son, brother, but no one realizes he is missing besides his brother Charlie. Liam, the boy who went missing wished his own life away because he had done something wrong. Once people do this, (wish their life away) they are visited by a lady who brings them to a type of asylum to keep them from their life. This means that your life is totally erased, and no one is suppose to remem This book kept me entertained and interested. The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly is about a family who loses their son, brother, but no one realizes he is missing besides his brother Charlie. Liam, the boy who went missing wished his own life away because he had done something wrong. Once people do this, (wish their life away) they are visited by a lady who brings them to a type of asylum to keep them from their life. This means that your life is totally erased, and no one is suppose to remember you. But for some reason, which you'd have to read the book to find out, Liam's brother, Charlie remembers him. Of course everyone thinks Charlie is crazy because he thinks he has a brother named Liam, which no one remembers. Charlie's friend is the only one who believes that Liam is out there somewhere. This is when they start to look for Liam. They do the best they can to find the asylum, find Liam. They are given hints and they used these hint as much as they could. This book has has a very good rising action, and will keep you hooked. I recommend this book. If there was another part to this I would read it. This book has a very interesting plot, and will keep you reading.
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    This book was not what I thought it would be. Based on the title and the book cover, I anticipated a real mystery or a murder. Instead, I found a book about family love and willingness to forgive one's past mistakes. Don't get me wrong, I was happy with the author's spin and feeling of eerieness in the book's story plot. It centered on Charlie's determination to find his brother, Liam, who was erased from the rest of the world. In reading the book, Charlie embarks on a journey that will test him This book was not what I thought it would be. Based on the title and the book cover, I anticipated a real mystery or a murder. Instead, I found a book about family love and willingness to forgive one's past mistakes. Don't get me wrong, I was happy with the author's spin and feeling of eerieness in the book's story plot. It centered on Charlie's determination to find his brother, Liam, who was erased from the rest of the world. In reading the book, Charlie embarks on a journey that will test him in the real world and the world of the Asylum, which is hidden but open to those who want to erase their previous mistakes. There is something that connects Charlie to his Irish ancestor and why is that only Charlie can remember his brother, Liam. Every book I have read to this point has dealt with a different idea and people's thoughts on today's society. One thing that is certain throughout those books was the theme on children's opinions and the mistakes they make. It is shown also the deep love for a child and the lengths parents go to protect them. I was glad to read a book that takes a different spin on a mother's love and loss.
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  • Mandy Cummings
    January 1, 1970
    I was given this arc to read by my Principal after he met Mrs. Anasari’s husband. This debut novel follows the story of Charlie, who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has a younger brother, Liam, that no one else remembers. With everyone else thinking he is crazy, the only person he can talk to about Liam is his best friend Anna. That is until a note written in Liam’s handwriting is found amongst Charlie’s baseball bag that instructs him to talk to The assistant coach Jonathan. With his h I was given this arc to read by my Principal after he met Mrs. Anasari’s husband. This debut novel follows the story of Charlie, who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has a younger brother, Liam, that no one else remembers. With everyone else thinking he is crazy, the only person he can talk to about Liam is his best friend Anna. That is until a note written in Liam’s handwriting is found amongst Charlie’s baseball bag that instructs him to talk to The assistant coach Jonathan. With his help, Charlie and Anna set out to figure out what actually happened to Liam and how to bring him back.I did enjoy this story. The mystery and parallel world were nicely created. My favorite part though was the friendship between Anna and Charlie. It never wavered the entire time. Anna stuck by Charlie when everyone else thought he was nuts. This story shows the power of forgiveness. Not just the forgiveness that you extend to others for what they did to you but also forgiving yourself for the pain you may have caused others and the grief that comes with it. A lesson that life is a web of love, pain, forgiveness and friendship. That all the ups and downs matter.
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  • Kirsti Call
    January 1, 1970
    "Charlie did know that. He knew a lot of things: that his dad's promotion at the museum of natural history meant a lot of trips out of town; that the raise that came with the new job was necessary to replace some of Mom's income;that he should be thankful they hadn't moved out of their house in Kingsberg to be closer to New York City. Knowing all this however, didn't make it easier. It seemed like dad was gone more than he was home these days, and the geodes, T-shirts, and sharks' teeth that fil "Charlie did know that. He knew a lot of things: that his dad's promotion at the museum of natural history meant a lot of trips out of town; that the raise that came with the new job was necessary to replace some of Mom's income;that he should be thankful they hadn't moved out of their house in Kingsberg to be closer to New York City. Knowing all this however, didn't make it easier. It seemed like dad was gone more than he was home these days, and the geodes, T-shirts, and sharks' teeth that filled Charlie's room from museums around the world did nothing to make it feel less empty."Wow. This hauntingly beautiful book is compelling and thought provoking. It's one of the most beautiful middle grade mysteries that I've read. The story covers themes of friendship, loyalty, pain, guilt, shame, forgiveness, coming out, depression, grief and loss. While past and present intertwine with each other, this book has a dream-like quality that mesmerizes. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    This book just DID NOT work for me. I'd read something else by this author, if the premise was interesting, and it got great reviews, because I think she has potential as an author. Hence the two stars. Unfortunately, the reasons I didn't like it are VERY spoiler-y, so you are warned. (view spoiler)[ I didn't like that the kids had such a huge impact on Mom's depression. Depression doesn't work that way. What does that say to "real" kids whose moms are super depressed .... that either their moms This book just DID NOT work for me. I'd read something else by this author, if the premise was interesting, and it got great reviews, because I think she has potential as an author. Hence the two stars. Unfortunately, the reasons I didn't like it are VERY spoiler-y, so you are warned. (view spoiler)[ I didn't like that the kids had such a huge impact on Mom's depression. Depression doesn't work that way. What does that say to "real" kids whose moms are super depressed .... that either their moms don't love them enough, or that they themselves aren't lovable??? Also, is no one else bothered that Brona essentially killed possibly THOUSANDS OF KIDS when they turned 18, and that's just, what, forgotten and forgiven? Once that secret is discovered, it's just never mentioned again. Am I missing something? Doesn't anyone else besides me find that horrific? Brona is one of the WORST MASS MURDERERS of all time. Granted, no one ever misses those kids, but . . . that almost makes it worse. And no one seems to care, as long as Charlie, Jonathon, and Ana get back home. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Upper middle grades. Darker and mature themes.Charlie has insisted he had a younger brother, Liam, for a year. No one else remembers him. He finds some clues that Liam was in his room and a note to talk to his assistant baseball coach. Doors open on a hard to believe tale of kids who wish they didn't exist being taken to the old asylum to live and their lives being erased from the real world. Jonathon did this and so did Liam. Charlie and his best friend Ana decide to try this and end up there t Upper middle grades. Darker and mature themes.Charlie has insisted he had a younger brother, Liam, for a year. No one else remembers him. He finds some clues that Liam was in his room and a note to talk to his assistant baseball coach. Doors open on a hard to believe tale of kids who wish they didn't exist being taken to the old asylum to live and their lives being erased from the real world. Jonathon did this and so did Liam. Charlie and his best friend Ana decide to try this and end up there too. Along with this storyline, a second one plays out in Charlie's dreams. He also seems to be Kieran, an Irish immigrant who escapes the major famine with his mother and father. Father dies on the boat coming over. He is separated from his mother and sent to the Asylum. She comes to get him and accidentally causes a fire that kills them both.Brona's life is spent "saving" kids from the pain of the real world when she rescues them and brings them to the asylum to live safely.Dark overtones and also messages of friendship, family and sacrifice.
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  • Karen McKenna
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I devoured this book. The premise was intriguing, and the storytelling had me on the edge of my seat. This was an interesting blend of the historical fiction account of a family of Irish immigrants and their journey to America, realistic fiction, and fantasy. There were several surprises I did not see coming, and beautiful messages of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. I will be recommending this book to so many students. My one note is that Charlie's mom is suffering from depression and th Wow! I devoured this book. The premise was intriguing, and the storytelling had me on the edge of my seat. This was an interesting blend of the historical fiction account of a family of Irish immigrants and their journey to America, realistic fiction, and fantasy. There were several surprises I did not see coming, and beautiful messages of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. I will be recommending this book to so many students. My one note is that Charlie's mom is suffering from depression and there could be some triggers for students from the depression scenes. In the end, her depression is fixed from a fantasy element instead of being the complicated disease it is. I could see this potentially being hurtful to those who have loved ones with depression and no "fix". Overall, this was an enthralling story that I could not put down. MG at its finest! #LitReviewCrew
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    ** I received an advance reader copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. **This was a truly enjoyable read. Cheesy at times and some of the 'twists' were fairly easy to see coming, but the themes of unconditional love and forgiveness carried the story along very well without being overbearing. The relationships between characters rang true -- from the friendship between Charlie and Ana to the complicated relationship between Charlie and his mother. It is a good book to use to sho ** I received an advance reader copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. **This was a truly enjoyable read. Cheesy at times and some of the 'twists' were fairly easy to see coming, but the themes of unconditional love and forgiveness carried the story along very well without being overbearing. The relationships between characters rang true -- from the friendship between Charlie and Ana to the complicated relationship between Charlie and his mother. It is a good book to use to show how tiny mistakes/decisions can have a huge impact on life. And to show the importance of forgiving yourself, both for things over which you have no control and over things you did purposely but have come to regret. I really liked this book!
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  • Kibbenza
    January 1, 1970
    Charlie O'Reilly has a problem. His little brother Liam is missing. But that's not really the problem. The problem is, no one else even remembers Liam. One day he woke up, and the bunk above his bed was gone, and so was the annoying little brother in it. A year later, and Charlie's still looking. Only his best friend Ana believes his story. So when a note appears, and his meticulous comics are messed up, Charlie knows Liam's been there. Together, Ana and Charlie undertake a mission drenched in m Charlie O'Reilly has a problem. His little brother Liam is missing. But that's not really the problem. The problem is, no one else even remembers Liam. One day he woke up, and the bunk above his bed was gone, and so was the annoying little brother in it. A year later, and Charlie's still looking. Only his best friend Ana believes his story. So when a note appears, and his meticulous comics are messed up, Charlie knows Liam's been there. Together, Ana and Charlie undertake a mission drenched in magic and mystery. I know I'm "too old" to read middle grade, but... this book was really something else. Well written, full of mystery, and magic that wasn't too out there. It felt real the whole time, and I devoured it!
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  • Jennifer Hill
    January 1, 1970
    I could not put it down! I stayed up until 2 AM finishing it, because I just could not stop! What a whirlwind of time travel/ other dimension/ ??? Charlie is missing his brother Liam because he wished him away on his birthday last year. No one else remembers Liam, except Charlie and no one believes Charlie, except his best friend Ana. Charlie's mom is dealing with depression and his dad is travelling for work. It is up to Charlie and Ana to find Liam. As they encounter someone who knows what hap I could not put it down! I stayed up until 2 AM finishing it, because I just could not stop! What a whirlwind of time travel/ other dimension/ ??? Charlie is missing his brother Liam because he wished him away on his birthday last year. No one else remembers Liam, except Charlie and no one believes Charlie, except his best friend Ana. Charlie's mom is dealing with depression and his dad is travelling for work. It is up to Charlie and Ana to find Liam. As they encounter someone who knows what happened to Liam they have to make a decision to possibly give up their lives as they know it to bring Liam back. I loved how it showed how one choice can have lasting consequences and some selfish acts can still be forgiven.
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  • Amethyst
    January 1, 1970
    Looking at the cover, it seemed nice, like a fun mystery novel for children.Ha. This book is a giant puzzle, and every time you found a piece, connecting it requires you to feel a cold darkness that left you eager to keep reading to find some sort of solace, to wash out the anguish you were forced to experience. I was taken back by how bold and forward this book was, and it stood up to you with all the confidence in the world! I was impressed! Several times I felt like I was reading a YA instead Looking at the cover, it seemed nice, like a fun mystery novel for children.Ha. This book is a giant puzzle, and every time you found a piece, connecting it requires you to feel a cold darkness that left you eager to keep reading to find some sort of solace, to wash out the anguish you were forced to experience. I was taken back by how bold and forward this book was, and it stood up to you with all the confidence in the world! I was impressed! Several times I felt like I was reading a YA instead of a Juvi novel. I loved every character, all amazingly written. While it wasn’t perfect, it’s definitely a read I don’t believe anyone will regret. I will definitely be recommending this book!(Unless you hate children, because, SPOILER ALERT, it’s about them. )
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  • Susan Dove Lempke
    January 1, 1970
    This had such a great opening that I couldn't resist picking it up: "Charlie O'Reilly was an only child. It therefore made everyone uncomfortable when he talked about his little brother." And it was compulsively readable throughout, all the way to a very compelling and satisfying conclusion. Well-developed main characters Charlie and Ana make you care what happens to them and each thing they did, while risky, made sense in the story. This was a great debut book and I look forward to reading more This had such a great opening that I couldn't resist picking it up: "Charlie O'Reilly was an only child. It therefore made everyone uncomfortable when he talked about his little brother." And it was compulsively readable throughout, all the way to a very compelling and satisfying conclusion. Well-developed main characters Charlie and Ana make you care what happens to them and each thing they did, while risky, made sense in the story. This was a great debut book and I look forward to reading more from this author.
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  • Aeicha
    January 1, 1970
    Thirteen-year old Charlie O’Reilly’s little brother Liam has disappeared...he simply vanished. And for some reason Charlie is the only one who remembers Liam ever even existed; not even their parents remember Liam. When strange dreams, notes, and occurrences happen, Charlie, with his best friend Ana by his side, set out to uncover the truth about where Liam went and how to get him back. Rebecca Ansari’s The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly is a heartfelt and captivating new middle-grade book. F Thirteen-year old Charlie O’Reilly’s little brother Liam has disappeared...he simply vanished. And for some reason Charlie is the only one who remembers Liam ever even existed; not even their parents remember Liam. When strange dreams, notes, and occurrences happen, Charlie, with his best friend Ana by his side, set out to uncover the truth about where Liam went and how to get him back. Rebecca Ansari’s The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly is a heartfelt and captivating new middle-grade book. Fantasy, mystery, and a bit of adventure all collide in this thought-provoking and deeply felt story. The mystery and circumstances surrounding Liam’s disappearing were not what I expected, but they definitely weren’t disappointing either. Ansari’s smartly crafted story, so full of twists; turns; and the unexpected, will keep young readers riveted until the very last page. The magical elements are infused with an enthralling macabre darkness that is both beautiful and startling. The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly explores real-life topics, like depression; grief; guilt; forgiveness; LGBTQ issues; and more, with sensitivity and depth. And the real heart of this story are its characters. From determined Charlie, loyal Ana, endearing Liam, complicated Jonathan, heartbroken Brona, and more, readers will find the characters to be engaging, well-developed, and full of complex layers. Powerfully profound, cleverly written, with an immense impact, The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly is a great debut.
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  • lex
    January 1, 1970
    J Fiction always helps me relax during stressful times. When I first started this book, I wasn’t too thrilled - it seemed a little cliche, predictable, especially the dialogue - but I started to enjoy it a lot more as I got further along. I got sucked in as both the plot and characters thicken, and was delighted by a twist I didn’t see coming at all. The Irish history intertwined with the modern storyline definitely added interesting layers. Overall, the characters became loyal, fierce, and self J Fiction always helps me relax during stressful times. When I first started this book, I wasn’t too thrilled - it seemed a little cliche, predictable, especially the dialogue - but I started to enjoy it a lot more as I got further along. I got sucked in as both the plot and characters thicken, and was delighted by a twist I didn’t see coming at all. The Irish history intertwined with the modern storyline definitely added interesting layers. Overall, the characters became loyal, fierce, and selfless as the book went on. Strong family ties.
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  • Stephanie Lucianovic
    January 1, 1970
    This book is one of the most painful, beautiful reads I've encountered. There is so much longing here, so much love, and so much of what children are and what they think. To take the child-like expletive of "I wish I'd never been born!" that kids throw at their parents, but also truly desire in their hearts, and turn it into this book is sheer mastery by Rebecca Ansari. I got this copy from the library but I already know I'm buying copies for my boys and their friends' birthdays. I cannot get ov This book is one of the most painful, beautiful reads I've encountered. There is so much longing here, so much love, and so much of what children are and what they think. To take the child-like expletive of "I wish I'd never been born!" that kids throw at their parents, but also truly desire in their hearts, and turn it into this book is sheer mastery by Rebecca Ansari. I got this copy from the library but I already know I'm buying copies for my boys and their friends' birthdays. I cannot get over this book.
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  • Alysa
    January 1, 1970
    This wonderful book is smart, challenging, and richly imagined. The plot twists and turns in unexpected ways, making for a very fresh, original debut. I especially liked that it appeals to upper middle-grade readers (a group that is often overlooked), challenging them with complex themes and dilemmas, all while providing a wonderful mystery and adventure. I'd highly recommend for readers of any age -- it's a timeless tale of family, love and acceptance
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a clever and imaginative story--I kept being surprised by the twists and turns! It's got a lot of heart and never got too dark or scary. I wasn't sure how all the pieces would end up coming together, but they did in a compelling and satisfying way. A warm, funny, thought-provoking book!
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