Review: The Longest Night of Charlie Noon

Published by Nosy Crow on 6th June
Cover Illustration by Matt Saunders

If you are brave enough to enter these woods … you will be utterly mesmerised as you are taken on the most intriguing journey full of twists, puzzles and incredible mind-blowing discoveries!  This is a book that is perfect for a one-sitting read and epitomises the phrase ‘page-turner’. 

With two references to time in the title, I feel the story offers a fascinating exploration of concepts in time which made me think of the Mobius Time Loop.  When and where in time are the three children?  There is so much to explore, but I don’t want to give anything away – suffice to say, nothing is ever as it seems!

One afternoon, three children get lost in the woods … and find a seemingly endless night!  Johnny is the bully; Charlie is the new kid in town; and Dizzy, a polio survivor, is Charlie’s only friend. 

Curiosity leads two of the friends into the woods … and Johnny follows.  Dizzy has seen sticks arranged into a secret code the previous day and wants his friend to help solve the mystery!  Johnny tells them Old Crony lives in the woods and he is someone to be feared.  The children’s heightened anticipation of Old Crony, together with the inspired use of sights and sounds, creates a real sense of foreboding with palpable fear building, leading to frantic and desperate actions as the children try desperately to run from their fear and their fate …

I found the woods both horrifying and fascinating, almost like a living entity, driven with an inexorable purpose for the children, a purpose that once realised left me stunned and in awe of the story-telling. 

Incredible heart-stopping moments, spine-tingling twists, and seeming impossibilities made me desperate to keep reading.  For me, the use of cliff hangers at the end of most of the chapters makes it the perfect classroom read! 

This is a perfect spine-tingler of a story which took me on the most incredible journey of exploration and discovery!

3 thoughts on “Review: The Longest Night of Charlie Noon

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