"This is science fiction at its most moving and exciting." The Guardian

The Longest Month of Charlie Noon

Posted by Christopher at 11:23am

The Longest Night of Charlie Noon  was published one month ago and I’ve been absolutely thrilled by the reception it’s received so far from readers. Frank Cottrell Boyce recently commented that "a new children's book needs help to find its way into a child's hands", so I'm incredibly grateful for these following reviews:

The Times chose The Longest Night of Charlie Noon as their Children’s Book of the Week, with Alex O'Connell commenting, "Christopher Edge — the coolest science teacher you probably never had — is no ordinary author. There’s no one quite like him writing now. His stories fizz with scientific ideas, the perfect fodder for the child with more questions than answers." 

The Sunday Times named The Longest Night of Charlie Noon as one of their Best Summer Readswith Nicolette Jones describing it as, "A heart-stopping adventure with thrills and twists, codes and puzzles, underpinned by an intense evocation of the natural world."

The Guardian featured an amazing review of The Longest Night of Charlie Noon in their Review section this weekend, with Tony Bradman commenting, "It isn’t every day that a novel for 8- to 12-year-olds reminds you of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, Dante’s Inferno and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. There’s a dash of The Twilight Zone in there too, plus a hint of the Wild Wood from The Wind in the Willows, all swirled together at the same time. A writer of genuine originality ... Edge creates strong characters who come alive on the page, and he has a thriller writer’s feel for suspense." 

The Week Junior chose The Longest Night of Charlie Noon as their Book of the Week, describing it as "A gripping story with hints of science, history and philosophy that will keep you guessing right to the end."

Booktrust picked The Longest Night of Charlie Noon as one of their best new books for June, commenting, "Skilfully written and structured for maximum tension, this short but powerful novel keeps the reader guessing throughout."

The Longest Night of Charlie Noon has also been reviewed by brilliant book bloggers and websites such as The Reader Teacher, Just Imagine, the Reading Zone, Book Lover Jo, Magic Fiction Since Potter, the Bookbag, Book Murmuration, Miss Cleveland is ReadingLily and the Fae and A Library Lady, to name a few. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s read and reviewed The Longest Night of Charlie Noon. In her recent essay Why You Should Read Children's Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise, Katherine Rundell wrote, "Those who write for children are trying to arm them for the life ahead with everything we can find that is true" and the reviewers of children's books are vital guides in helping children find the books that will shine brightly to guide them through their lives.

In the month since publication, I've been haring up and down the country talking about The Longest Night of Charlie Noon and it's been a pleasure to talk to children in Bristol, London, Manchester, Bedford, Cheltenham and many more places. However, one of the absolute highlights of the launch tour for the book was when I spoke at the Royal Institution. To be invited as an author of children's books to speak at the home of the Christmas Lectures and stand on the same stage that has been graced by esteemed scientists such as Michael Faraday, Carl Sagan and Sir David Attenborough was a real honour, and I was delighted to be joined by Bletchley Park's Tom Briggs and UCL astrophysicist Amelie Saintonge to explore the science behind The Longest Night of Charlie Noon. It was a magical evening that ended with a bang, and one of the greatest pleasures of the evening for me was getting the chance to speak to so many children in the signing after the event and hear how they've been inspired by the science in my stories.

Finally, I was thrilled to learn in June that The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day had been chosen as the inaugural winner of the STEAM Children’s Book Prize. The prize was set up by UCLan Publishing to celebrate children’s books that highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. Roman Belyaev won the best information book category for How Does a Lighthouse Work?, How the Borks Became by Jonathan Emmet and Elys Dolan was named the best early years book, White Rabbit Red Wolf by Tom Pollock won the YA category, Battle of the Beetles by M G Leonard was the winner of the ‘Your Choice Award’ voted for by school pupils, while The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day won the overall prize and the middle-grade category. Science inspires and with so many wonderful books on the shortlists, I'm incredibly proud that The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day was chosen as the winner. Huge thanks to UCLan Publishing and The British Interplanetary Society for setting up the award, and huge congratulations to all the other shortlisted authors and illustrators.