"A time-hopping historical adventure. "
The Wicton Village museum and Library are to be closed so new houses can be built on the site. In one last class visit to the museum, Charlie and Saima find themselves sketching the strange head of a statue of the Roman god Janus. However, coming into contact with the statue sends the pair back to Roman times, where they must keep together, stay safe and find a way home. Drawn into a conflict between the local blacksmith and a cruel Roman tax collector, the children with their new friend Ruus uncover a complex plot to steal thousands, and must put a stop to it and clear Metallus’ name.
Charlie's Truth by Alistair Rainey is a multi-faceted story, with lots to enjoy and discuss along the way. Each of the characters are well-crafted, with Charlie’s reputation for telling lies both getting him into and out of trouble and Saima’s studious nature that helps them to figure out what is happening and what to do next. The two characters are very different, and these differences are utilised throughout the book, allowing them to work together and overcome challenges. Charlie and Saima also learn from each other and become a bit more open to their new friend’s perspectives. The plotline is very well researched and includes a lot of detail about Roman history that would appeal to young history fans. There's also a glossary at the end for readers to learn more about the terms used within the book. With the added excitement of the time travel element I think that this would be an engaging and educational story for the 9-12 target audience.
Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador