Author: Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
Title: Back to Blackbrick
Publication: 1 January 2013 -- Margaret K McElderry Books
First Lines: My Granddad was pretty much the cleverest person I ever met, so it was strange in the end to see the way people treated him -- as if he was a complete moron.
Favorites on 4s:
4% : Tragedy isn't the thing that makes the world a stressful place; it's the chance of tragedy that makes it stressful, and I guess that's what tormented me. Constantly being frightened about losing the things that I needed most -- it was exhausting.
14% : My granddad used to say that the best way to make the gods laugh was to tell them your plans.
44% : I only had a couple more days before I had to get back home and give Granddad lessons about the past so that he'd pass the memory test and nobody would take him away.
74% : ...there comes a time when you've got to stop using your past as a license to do whatever you want. There comes a time when you have to get over things like that and get on with being the best person you can be. If you let the past determine your future, you're probably screwed.
So, I went from the snarky hilarity of Skulduggery Pleasant to the heartbreak of Back to Blackbrick. Now, I did find myself chuckling from time to time ... but, overall, for every chuckle I was just waiting for next heartbreaking shoe to drop.
The narrator of Back to Blackbrick is Cosmo. His brother died years back when he was 10 years old, his mother took off for Australia for "business," and he's been living with his grandparents ever since. He's always been close to his grandfather, especially, so it's hard for Cosmo when he develops Alzheimer's and begins to forget pretty much everything and every body. Cosmo tries to help with some tips he finds on the Internet -- i.e. labelling pictures and household objects, increasing the Omega-3s in their diet. One night, after a social worker says that it's probably time for a nursing home if he can't recall things about his past or present anymore, Cosmo is given a key for Blackbrick Abbey. Cosmo is to go and take notes to help him remember earlier memories as that's where he once lived and worked when he was 16.
So Cosmo goes and his grandfather is there. And 16.
Yep. It's a heartbreaking and sometimes funny book with time travel.
I don't want to say anything more about the plot because I'm afraid that once I start I wouldn't be able to stop. Then there would be no reason at all for you to read it! It definitely is one that I'm happy to have read and did so in the matter of an afternoon -- heartbreak and all. It's kind of like a tween/teen Mitch Albom. It has that same sort of poignancy about it.
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