Children’s Book Review: Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

If you are looking for ideas of great books for your children to read over the Summer months and beyond, I have decided to start sharing books that my own children and I have particularly enjoyed to inspire you!

Here is my first children’s book review: Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer…

Charlotte Sometimes is a classic tale of mystery, time travel and identity.

Written by Penelope Farmer and first published in 1969, it will delight children, teens and adults.  I, myself, first read this book when I was 15 and when I re-read it years later as an adult, found it no less an enchanting read.

The story begins when Charlotte, a shy new girl at a boarding school, chooses a bed next to the window in her new dormitory which she is strangely drawn to.

The next day she wakes up to find herself in the same bed, same dorm, same school, but with one big difference… Charlotte finds that overnight she has become a girl called Clare and has been transported back in time to 1918!

The time travel becomes a regular occurrence, taking place every night, and Charlotte and Clare communicate with each other in a diary which they hide in one of the hollow posts in the magical bed that they share.

Things become tricky for Charlotte, regularly swapping identities and keeping up the pretence among her fellow pupils and teachers.  However, the situation becomes more than tricky when Charlotte then finds herself trapped in 1918, seemingly with no way out!

Farmer’s prose is absolutely beautiful throughout this book, sharply pulling the reader into the book through her rich description of the sights, sounds and smells that Charlotte experiences.

Charlotte Sometimes is the kind is book that will transport the reader to another place and time.  It is a wonderful read, one that readers won’t be able to put down until they find out what happens next!


I often post ideas of great books to read on Instagram, please find me there for more book inspiration!