The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne
Barnaby floats, he can’t keep his feet on the ground for more than a few seconds. His parents don’t like it, they just want a ‘normal’ life. They decide that they must let Barnably go and the Mum takes him for a walk and ‘loses’ him along the way. This is where Barnaby’ s adventures start. While this could spell disaster, Barnaby has some luck, meets some kind people, learns about other people who aren’t ‘normal’, gets helped, helps others and runs into an old friend. Over time Barnaby starts to wonder what is ‘normal’ and is it really such a good thing to aspire to.
Even knowing what his mother did he wants to get home, he misses his brother and sister. The family pet Captain W E Johns hasn’t been the same since Barnaby left, he knows what happened on the ‘walk’. Barnaby is a thoughtful and forgiving boy, he faces his challenges bravely and learns character along the way.
I liked this book and think readers 10+ will enjoy Barnaby’s story. It’s message is simple and rings true- it’s okay to be different. Author John Boyne who also wrote “The Boy With Striped Pajamas” takes a light hearted look at society and we all can learn from Barnaby’s story.