The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket Summary and Reviews

The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket

by John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers X
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

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Book Summary

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. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. 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

"All of his experiences ultimately prove to be character-building, if repetitive in their themes. A story of self-empowerment told with wry humor and purpose. Fable. 8-12." - Kirkus

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Author Information

John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers Author Biography

Photo: Rich Gilligan

Boyne was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1971, and studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he was awarded the Curtis Brown prize. He now offers a scholarship to Irish students undertaking the MA program at UEA.

He has published 9 novels for adults and five for younger readers, including The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas which was a New York Times No.1 Bestseller and was made into a Miramax feature film. It has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. He is also the author of the short story collection Beneath The Earth.

He is a regular book reviewer for The Irish Times and has been a judge for both the Hennessy Literary Awards and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, as well as chairing the ...

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Name Pronunciation
John Boyne, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers: BOYn

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