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The Boy Who Wasn't There by K. M. Peyton
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The Boy Who Wasn't There (1992)

by K. M. Peyton

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I won this in a LibraryThing giveaway, and found it quite creepy. I would not share it with my child. ( )
  crystalclancy | Feb 27, 2013 |
When Arnold discovers a body floating in a lake, he becomes a murderer's next target. He narrowly escapes from being strangled by clawed hands, and then run-down by a man on a motorbike. As a runaway from a home for "delinquents", Arnold is reluctant to go to the police. But violin-playing Jodie, a witness to the motorbike attack, has another suggestion. She convinces Arnold that he could hide - in the chaos of the combined-schools orchestra tour of Scotland she is about to go on. Arnold knows nothing about playing music, but Jodie gives Arnold her spare violin case and, with the help of her friends - the clarinettist, timpanist and two other percussionists (Nutty and Hoomey from Who, Sir? Me, Sir?), manages to smuggle Arnold along.
But hiding Arnold become much more complicated when they're asked to look after Boris, the pianist prodigy touring with the orchestra who only speaks Russian. And then they discover that Arnold's assailants are closer than they thought...

The Boy Who Wasn't There is suspenseful and dramatic, involving music and musicians, evading authorities, unusual hiding places, orchestra rehearsals, car chases and life-threatening situations. It reminds me slightly of an Enid Blyton mystery, but it's much more realistic, serious and amusing, and about teenagers instead of children. It is also a story about making friends, and discovering one's strengths - and not just the strengths needed in the face of danger.

When I first read this, I was a teenager and in a school orchestra. I found the story hilarious, and I loved all the orchestra scenes and the orchestra-related humour. How many books involve hiding out in the percussion section? I thought this book was perfect.
I remembered it vividly, with amusement as well as affection, and rereading it, it was as captivating and enjoyable as ever. (I expected that it mightn't be as good as I remembered...) I imagine it would be more appealing to those who have experiences of school/amateur orchestras, but it is nevertheless a great, entertaining story. ( )
1 vote Herenya | Jun 24, 2010 |
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When Arnold Bracegirdle ran away from the delinquents' home for the fourth time he made for his Great Aunt Margaret's in the forlorn hope that no-one would find him there.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385402481, Hardcover)

Arnold's known plenty of trouble in his 13 years, but nothing as serious as when he sees a dead body floating in a lake - for he's the only witness and someone is trying to kill him. This adventure story by the author of the "Flambards" novels also features Nutty and Hoomey from "Who Sir, Me Sir?".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:22 -0400)

When Arnold witnesses a murder, he finds himself on the run, escaping to the Scottish Highlands from a killer, desperate to eliminate him. Suggested level: intermediate.

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