By Author / Illustrator
Nosy Crow Ltd
Paperback / softback
A funny, wise and heartwarming story, with a truly one-of-a-kind hero, from the author of the highly-acclaimed I, Cosmo and My Life as a Cat.
I am an optimist. A very difficult thing to be, sometimes, at three inches tall.Clementine is a genius. She can calculate pi to 69,689 places, remembers the exact moment she was born, and dreams in Latin.She's also a mouse.And when she escapes from the lab which has bred her, Clementine discovers that it's not enough to be the smartest mouse in history if she wants to survive in the real world - especially while the scientists who kept her are trying to recover their prize specimen. So, together with her new human friends, Clementine must find a way to earn her freedom - for good.With beautiful writing and a truly wonderful hero who you'll fall in love with from the first page, Always, Clementine is perfect for fans of Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, Flora and Ulysses, and The Queen's Gambit.
Find out more from author Carlie Sorosiak
It's a strange thing to say when asked by a friend why you're crying and you answer that a mouse made you do it. The look you receive is one of confusion. I simply put this book, Always, Clementine, into my friend's hands and told them to read it, that they'd understand.
Clementine, a research laboratory mouse, is saved from certain death when a researcher steals her away to keep her safe from harm. This sounds like something that Clementine should be happy with but in escaping the lab, she leaves behind Rosie. Rosie is a chimpanzee who is also kept in the research facility and the first friend that Clementine ever had. To combat the guilt and grief at leaving her behind, Clementine writes letters in her head to Rosie. Clementine finds help and empathy from a boy, Gus, who is trying hard to know his own mind and be the good person he knows himself to be, even if his dad doesn't always see it. Together with his Grandad, Pops, he races against time as the lab intensifies its search for Clementine as they all realise, Clementine isn't just fighting for her life, she is fighting for the freedom of Rosie as well.
This book is heartwarming, full of human emotion and examines relationships, not just between family members but the strangers we meet and the animals that trust us.
272 pages / Reviewed by Nicola Mansfield, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 7+
What a lovely book! It is emotional, fun, informative and exciting all at the same time! Always, Clementine tells the tale of a little mouse called Clementine who escapes from a laboratory which tests on animals. Clementine misses her friend Rosie the chimp and writes letters to Rosie in her head. This is a beautiful relationship which made me feel quite emotional when reading. However, Clementine is no ordinary mouse. She has super genius powers and the lab scientists are trying to find her. She makes friends with a boy and his Grandad and they teach her how to play Chess!
This book is like nothing I've ever read before. It is unique and I thought Clementine was a great character. There are little nuggets of genius in the book which are fun, such as when Clementine tells us "I have been alive for forty-seven days. That's 1,128 hours. That's 67,680 minutes. That's 4,060,000 seconds."
There are many different points of teaching which could be used alongside this book. I really enjoyed reading about descriptions of nature from a mouse's point of view. The writing is beautiful, and this is something that could be done as a writing activity in class. There's also the possibility of using the book to encourage learning about mice or any other animals. There are also many references to the game of Chess as Clementine becomes a Chess champion, which could be an introduction to the game for older children in primary school.
There are also descriptions of the laboratory which could encourage debates on ethics for much older children. At the end of the book, the author writes a little about how she took on her rabbit Strawberry who was rescued from a lab. This could be a sensitive subject but the way Carlie Sorosiak has written the story is perfect for primary school children so they won't be distressed about anything they read about testing on animals.
I noticed that Carlie has written two other books about animals – one a cat and the other a dog. I would be interested in reading these too. The way she imagine how an animal would think and act is fascinating.
Suggested Reading Age 7+