The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
From the New York Times bestselling author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, John Boyne writes yet another imaginatively intriguing story. Boyne creates a world without limits and pushes our imagination to great heights. His writing echoes the style of Roald Dahl, creating zany character names and illustrating a world seen through a child’s eyes. This is a truly fascinating read; not only will the reader find it hard to put this book down but will walk away with a wonderful lesson, and possibly a teary eye.
"THE TERRIBLE THING THAT HAPPENED TO BARNABY BROCKET is a wonderful story for all ages. It teaches children to love who they are and not to judge others."
Barnaby Brockett is far from an ordinary eight-year-old boy; he was born with the ability to float. However, Barnaby’s parents, Eleanor and Alistair, consider their son’s gift a curse. The thought of taking him outside is absurd to Alistair and Eleanor; what would the neighbors say? They wished he were “normal” just like their two other children, Henry and Melanie, who do not float.
Barnaby’s parents despise the fact that he could float. Yet, Henry and Melanie love Barnaby for who he is; they like how their brother is unique and so does Captain W.E. Johns, the family dog. Eleanor decides to buy him a backpack and fill it with sandbags to weigh him down. This seems to do the trick for the time being. Once the backpack comes off, up he goes, right to the ceiling. Eleanor and Alistair discuss they would not tolerate anymore floating and if he could not change his habits, he had to go. And so, he went.
An adventure is waiting for Barnaby high in those clouds; an adventure that will make him realize that being different isn’t something to be ashamed of. From Brazil --- to New York --- to Canada --- to Ireland --- to Africa, and even to outer space, Barnaby Brockett sees the world and meets the most interesting people who are just as different as him, but in their own way. He learns his ability to float isn’t as bad as his parents had said. Instead, it's what defines him as someone special.
THE TERRIBLE THING THAT HAPPENED TO BARNABY BROCKET is a wonderful story for all ages. It teaches children to love who they are and not to judge others. Everyone is unique in his or her own way. It doesn’t matter if you are short, fat, tall, skinny, or even if you float, just remember to be yourself.
Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski on December 7, 2012