Monday, December 9, 2019

Review: The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

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.

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published January 8th 2013
by Knopf Books for Young Readers
**** 1/2

I’m a relatively new John Boyne fan and while his books The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Boy at the Top of the Mountain are etched vividly in my brain, leaving their mark on my heart that I couldn't help jumping into The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket. It’s been on my kindle since being released in 2012 and I figured from the blurb I was in for a fun read.

Again the author’s writing style kept me entertained, it was whimsical, engaging with a pace that kept me reading. The characters aren’t just flawed but realistic and well developed, especially Barnaby’s parents - while I understood why they were the way they were it doesn’t mean I had to like them (if you read the story you’ll understand).

Barnaby Brocket is an adventure story that was fun with interesting stops on the way. But it also has a serious side that will pull at the heartstrings, it’s a story of acceptance, abandonment, and searching. I loved Barnaby, his thoughts and the ending was perfect. Sad at times I’m glad to have read this one.

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