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The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby…
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The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket

by John Boyne

Other authors: Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)

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English (6)  French (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Alistar and Eleanor Brocket like things to be normal. They have no tolerance for anything out of the ordinary, especially anything that would draw attention to them or their family. So when the third child was born with the ability to float, they were mortified. After trying to find away to make their son, Barnaby, normal for eight years they give up and do "the terrible thing." They let him go so he would float away into the unknown. Thus begins an adventure for Barnaby that takes him all over the world and introduces him to all sorts of people that would not fit their parents' definition of normal.

This is a cute fable about being different and learning to accept yourself for who you are. However, I really disliked what the message was about parents. I know there are parents that don't accept their children for who they are, but all of the parents in this book were horrible. Most of them wanted nothing to do with their unusual children unless they could get something out of it at the end to make it OK. The Brockets are the most horrible parents I have read in literature, even worse than the Dursley's in Harry Potter since they at least gave their not normal nephew a place to stay.

(SPOILER ALERT)
Although I liked that Barnaby finally accepted that he likes floating and he doesn't want to change to make others happy, I was really disappointed that it seemed to suggest the only way for him to be himself was to leave everyone behind. His parents never did accept him, but his brother and sister did and he was determined to go without even telling them goodbye. I did not like how the author set it up to be a choice between being himself and his family...not only for him, but for all the characters he met on his journey. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
This book is such a good little thing! It's for younger readers; but I love John Boyne's style and I'd gladly take a bullet for Oliver Jeffers, so there was no way I was going to miss reading this book.
Barnaby Brocket is a nine year old boy that defies the laws of gravity. From the moment he was born he has been ably to float. This particular trait is frowned upon in his home, were all his parents wish is to Iead a normal life. When Barnaby's mother does the unthinkable, Barnaby is set out to have the adventure of his life and meet the most extraordinary people out there in the world.
Written with such ease, this book harbors pearls of wisdom strewn all around it. Illustrations are fabulous and makes you wish they were done in full color. Really recommend this one: it flies by -or should I say floats by?- ( )
  AleAleta | Sep 25, 2013 |
This is quite a sad book.

To read it as an adult had me close to tears. That Barnaby's parents could be so awful, could resent him so much...

But if I'd read this as a child I think it would have been a wonderful adventure. To float, to go anywhere, to inadvertently travel the world and meet so many different characters, it would have been wonderful.

This book teaches some great lessons - the most important are that it's not wrong to be different and that everyone has their own definition of normal. It's OK to be gay, to have a crappy job, to be horrifically scarred, to be a freak.

I won this via Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  Corazie | Jul 25, 2013 |
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket is a sweet tale of betrayal, friendship and embracing people's differences. When Barnaby is born his parents are horrified that he has his head in the clouds...literally. Barnaby defies gravity and is unable to keep his feet on the ground without the aid of weights or being tethered to an object. His siblings, Melanie and Henry are accepting of their brother but their parents can't deal with a child who is anything but normal. This book does a wonderful job of exploring people's differences and sending the message that everyone is special in their own way. I also loved the fact that although Barnaby faced adversity in his life he never became bitter or disheartened. Even after everything he went through he still had a kind soul and a beautiful.spirit. 4 stars. I highly recommend this book to fans of Roald Dahl ( )
  68papyrus | Jul 24, 2013 |
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne (2013) is a funny, at first heart-breaking story about Barnaby Brocket, a boy who was born into a completely normal family with a completely not-nomal gift. Luckily, he meets lots of wonderful people who love him for who he is, warming our hearts by the end of the story.

In the classroom, I would use this in a unit about fantasy books, as well as in a lesson about describing character traits: Boyne does a great job showing us how his characters behave, making us believe we must know them. Grades 4-8 ( )
  jennycheckers | May 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
...Der Roman sprüht vor Phantasie und Witz. Überall lassen sich Anspielungen auf das Weltgeschehen finden. Die Erzählweise ist sehr bildhaft und so leichtfüßig, dass man ganz schnell in Barnabys Sicht auf die Welt eintauchen kann und erst wieder auftaucht, wenn die letzte gelungene Illustration von Oliver Jeffers das Buch abschließt....
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Boyneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jeffers, OliverIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dit is het verhaal van Barnaby Brocket, en als je Barnaby wilt begrijpen, dan moet je eerst zijn ouders begrijpen ; twee mensen die zo bang waren voor iedereen die anders was dat ze iets vreselijks deden, met afschuwelijke gevolgen voor al hun dierbaren.
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Born with an ability to float in the air, Barnaby Brocket is entreated by his parents to hide his unusual trait until a fateful day when he finds himself on a journey that takes him all over the world and into outer space.

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