|Thank you Random House for my copy.|
Last spring I was reading a blog post about John Boyne’s new book. I got excited because at the beginning of last year I read Noah Barleywater Runs Away as my first read aloud. I loved it and more importantly my class loved it. After I finished reading the blog post I called The Bookies and asked them to order me a copy. “No problem. It will be published January of 2013.” I went back to the post and realized that it was a British blog. Needless to say I had to wait a few months to read it. I am happy to say it was worth the wait for The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket.
Barnaby is not a normal eight year old. He is far from normal. Barnaby floats. He does not obey the laws of gravity. This is a major problem for his parents because they DO NOT want anything to do with the abnormal. Something terrible happens that sends Barnaby on a fabulous journey. He travels from Sydney to Brazil and beyond. On his journey he meets wonderful people that don’t fit the normal standards.
Mr. Boyne’s writing is not your typical middle grade writing. It challenges the reader. Not because it is too hard to read, or too weird. He just makes us think really hard about our lives. The longer I spend with young kids the more I realize that they like to be challenged this way. At one point one of the joyful characters Barnaby meets says, "Just because your version of normal isn't the same as someone else's version doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you," Kids (actually we all) need to hear this, or in this case read something like this.
I have a list of kids I can’t wait to share this book with.