Review: Charlie and The Grandmothers by Katy Towell

Title: Charlie and The Grandmothers
Author: Katy Towell
Published: August 4th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
read in: August, 2015

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

children • horror

“… but when adventure comes calling, how can an adventurer say no?”

A visit to Grandmother’s house has never been so frightening. . . .

Charlie and Georgie Oughtt have been sent to visit their Grandmother Pearl, and this troubles Charlie for three reasons. The first is that he’s an exceptionally nervous twelve-year-old boy, and he worries about everything. The second is that the other children in his neighborhood who pay visits to their grandmothers never seem to return. And the third is that Charlie and Georgie don’t have any grandmothers.

Upon their arrival, all of Charlie’s concerns are confirmed, as “Grandmother Pearl” quickly reveals herself to be something much more gruesome than even Charlie’s most outlandish fears could have predicted. He and Georgie are thrust into a creepy underworld created from stolen nightmares, where monsters disguised as grandmothers serve an ancient, evil queen by holding children captive as they slowly sap each one of their memories and dreams.

But something is different about Charlie. His worrisome nature, so often a burden, proves an asset in this frightening world. Will he be able to harness this newfound power to defeat the queen and save his sister?


This is the first children horror tale I read this year and I enjoyed it very much. The book offered a scary and creepy story for children that so many times pictured in my head as a Tim Burton movie.

The story was so interesting with so many children being kidnapped by their “grandmother”. The grandmothers’ world was also really creepy and full of imagination. I loved how the main character, Charlie, started off as a child scared of everything that he couldn’t enjoy his childhood and ended up being brave to save his sister. I could really feel the conflict he constantly had between avoiding his life from danger and saving all the kidnapped children. His character growth was what made the story really interesting.

What I would like for the book to upgrade the writing so it would be more interesting for a young adult but still understandable for children. I know that the book was focusing on the younger reader but I felt like it used a very simple language. Another thing to add are the illustration, I love what the book had offered, but I just want to see more scene to be illustrated.

Overall, I loved how the “Burton”-ish vibe this book offered. It was a very fast read yet so fun and enjoyable. Though it’s a children’s book, you should consider the scariness and creepiness before giving it to your children.




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