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2012 Award
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
( by John Boyne, ills. Oliver Jeffers, Knopf $19.99 Score: )

Born into a family of ordinary people, who liked being that way, young Barnaby Brocket came into the world anything but ordinary. Within moments of his birth he could float. In fact, he could not help floating. Unable to stop, as his parents felt he could if he tried, he is rejected at age eight and cast off into the vast blue sky over Sydney. In a journey that takes him round the word, Barnaby survives a series of adventures and discovers he is not unique in failing to fit his parent's expectations. By the time the story comes full circle Barnaby makes another discovery about himself and being "normal." Though many of the scenes are amusing, this is a bittersweet story with a very moralistic message. Marked for 8-12, one has to wonder if readers of 10-12 will stay with a book about an 8 year old and if younger readers of 8-9 will stay with or get the point of this rather long fantasy. That said, the opening pages are pure silk!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on

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