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The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocketby John Boyne and Oliver Jeffers
Synopses & Reviews
Barnaby Brocket is an ordinary 8-year-old boy in most ways, but he was born different in one important way: he floats. Unlike everyone else, Barnaby does not obey the law of gravity. His parents, who have a horror of being noticed, want desperately for Barnaby to be normal, but he can't help who he is. And when the unthinkable happens, Barnaby finds himself on a journey that takes him all over the world. From Brazil to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even to space, the floating boy meets all sorts of different people — and discovers who he really is along the way.
This whimsical novel will delight middle graders, and make readers of all ages question the meaning of normal.
"'The Brocket family was just about the most normal family in New South Wales, if not the whole of Australia. And then their third child was born.' Like Boyne and Jeffers's Noah Barleywater Runs Away, this tale follows the journeys of an eight-year-old boy; unlike Noah Barley-water, though, Barnaby Brocket doesn't leave willingly. Much to the dismay of his well-mannered, painfully normal parents, Barnaby floats in midair (Jeffers shows doctors and nurses gazing up at the hospital ceiling when he is born). Barnaby's parents try quarantining him inside the house and weighing him down with sandbags, but one day his frustrated mother simply releases him into the sky. As Barnaby travels the globe, he meets people of all ages who have followed their dreams, stayed true to themselves, and embraced what makes them unique, from the elderly women (hinted to be a couple) who rescue him in a hot-air balloon to a famous Toronto art critic scarred by fire. It's a fun and thought-provoking story of self-discovery, and the humor and gentleness with which Boyne delivers his message make it both unforgettable and delightful. Ages 8 – 12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971 and is the author of six novels for adults. His first novel for children, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, won two Irish Book Awards, was shortlisted for the British Book Award, and has been made into a film. His novels are published in over 30 languages. He lives in Dublin.
Oliver Jeffers is an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator. His first picture book, How to Catch a Star (HarperCollins) was published in 2004 and since then he has created a further five picture books to much critical acclaim. He has won the Irish Book Award (where he first met John Boyne), the Blue Peter Book of the Year and the Nestlé Children's Book Prize as well as a host of shortlistings including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. His books have been translated into 19 languages.
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