Carlie Sorosiak, author of I, Cosmo and My Life as a Cat, has done it again with her new book: Always, Clementine. Clementine, a very clever laboratory mouse, manages to escape from the lab which has bred her. A lab that experiments on animals. She is also a genius.
In escaping, she leaves behind her friend Rosie – a chimpanzee who is also in the research lab. In an attempt to combat the resulting guilt, Clementine writes letters to Rosie, communicating her thoughts and experiences of life on the outside. Her optimism and belief that humans are mostly good, allows her to create a bond with 11-year-old Gus and his warm, loving grandfather. Clementine and her mouse friend Hamlet’s journey to freedom is full of tension and plot twists, with danger ever present.
This is an emotionally intense and turbulent book, but it is a tale that is inspirational – and often funny – with strong messages of courage, friendship, teamwork, resourcefulness, and authenticity, and is one that will educate children and adults alike of the cruelty many animals are forced to endure.
I love that Sorosiak has written a children’s book about a topic that can be difficult to get right, but she has absolutely managed to create a beautiful story that is honest, enlightening and moving.
With so many learning opportunities, it is highly recommended for Upper KS2 and above.
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