Friday, May 13, 2011

Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne

Noah Barleywater Runs Away
Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne

The blurb:
Eight-year-old Noah's problems seem easier to deal with if he doesn't think about them.  So he runs away, taking an untrodden path through the forest.

Before long he comes across a shop.  But htis is no ordinary shop.  It is a toy shop, full of the most amazing toys and brimming with the most wonderful magic.  And here Noah meets a most unusual character.

The toymaker has a story to tell, and it's a story of adventure and wonder, and broken promises.  He takes Noah on a journey. A journey that will change his life. And it could change yours too.

Noah Barleywater Runs Away  is geared towards middle school kids, and even reluctant readers are likely to get drawn into his adventure.  Noah is likable - we quickly wonder why he's run away.  When strangers ask him about it and question whether he'd been mistreated at home, Noah's quick to speak up for his parents.  In fact, its the stories about his mother and her love for him that give the book a special pull.

As Noah meets unusual characters and comes across the toymaker, the story takes on an unusual twist.  Magic, loneliness, friendship and loyalty all play important roles in the adventure.  And as the tale winds down to a satisfactory end,  both Noah and the reader take home an important lesson.

Noah Barleywater Runs Away is a carefully crafted adventure and a satisfying read.

For ages 9 to 12.
ISBN-10: 0385752466 - Hardcover $16.99
Publisher: David Fickling Books (May 10, 2011), 240 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971.  He is the author of seven previous novels including the international bestsellers Mutiny on the Bounty, The House of Special Purpose, and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which won two Irish Book Awards, topped the New York Times Bestseller List and was turned into a Miramax feature film.  His books are published in over 40 languages.  He lives and writes in Dublin.  Learn more about him at

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