There's nothing unusual about the Brockets. Normal, respectable, and proud of it, they turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it's clear he's anything but ordinary. To his parents’ horror, Barnaby defies the laws of gravity - and floats.
Desperate to please his parents, Barnaby does his best to keep both feet on the ground – but he just can't do it. One fateful day, the Brockets decide enough is enough. They never asked for a weird, abnormal, floating child. Barnaby has to go . . .
Betrayed, frightened and alone, Barnaby floats into the path of a very special hot air balloon – and so begins a magical journey around the world, with a cast of extraordinary new friends.
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Mr and Mrs Brocket live an obsessively normal life in Sydney - until their third child, Barnaby, is born. Because Barnaby floats, like a helium-filled balloon, unless he is weighted down. Embarrassed and frustrated by their son’s inability to be normal, they cut him loose at the age of eight, and Barnaby floats away on a series of adventures . . . Boyne’s previous children’s novels (The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Noah Barleywater Runs Away) have dealt with serious, life-changing themes and his deftness of touch is equally evident in this uplifting celebration of otherness - Daily Mail
Delightfully quirky . . . with a delightful cast of characters, this books celebrates and acknowledges difference - The Bookseller
It's unashamedly and often delightfully whimsical. It's lovely to look at . . . It has much of the pell-mell what-the-hell-happens-nextness of Dahl and Ibbotson - Guardian
A whimsical, warm-hearted adventure . . . beautifully illustrated by Oliver Jeffers - The Bookseller
This funny, warm, but poignant story has a thought-provoking message about the importance of accepting difference and being true to yourself. Barnaby makes for a hugely likeable hero, and this story is full of fantastic characters, from eccentric contemporary artists to a villainous ringmaster to Barnaby's beloved dog, Captain W E Johns. Booklovers will enjoy spotting the numerous references to books from Heidi to Around the World in 80 Days in a book which is in part a tribute to the power of the imagination. Surreal and quirky in the tradition of children's writers like Roald Dahl, there are some moments of darkness here too, but although the final resolution is bittersweet, this is ultimately a deeply uplifting story. Oliver Jeffers' beautiful illustrations add the perfect finishing touch - Booktrust
This light and amusing story still manages to tackle serious issues around difference and conformity . . . the message is that you cannot change your family, but you can love them all the same. A book to be enjoyed by children either as an adventure or a thought provoker, with lovely illustrations by Oliver Jeffers - We Love This Book
Very entertaining reading . . . This is a book very much on the side of the child, operating rather in the same way that, for example, the children’s novels of Roald Dahl operate. But Boyne’s humour is much gentler and subtler than Dahl’s, even occasionally taking young readers into areas (such as New York’s art world) where they might miss some of the slyly satirical subtext. Oliver Jeffers’s black-and-white illustrations, nicely complemented by their pithy, “handwritten” captions, capture both the wit and pathos of Boyne’s text - Irish Times
A fast paced and warm-hearted story for any age - with an important message - Primary Times Ireland
A new children's title from John Boyne is always an exciting prospect, and this funny and moving story about the pleasure and pain of being different from everyone else is bound to satisfy loyal fans and first-time readers alike. Boyne cites the novels of Roald Dahl as a particular influence on his writing here, and sure enough there are nasty parents, open-hearted children, and eccentric characters galore - but as with his previous two books for this age group, there's something unique about the way that Boyne deals with those 'terrible things' that lie right at the heart of the human experience. He seems somehow more forgiving of adult frailties than Dahl, despite presenting the awful consequences of their actions with an almost shocking simplicity, and his warmth and understanding are deeply poignant - Teach Primary
A wonderfully uplifting story with an extremely likeable title character, full of humour, with some dark moments showing the best and worst of human nature - Primary Times
John Boyne was born in Ireland and is the author of seven novels for adults and three for children. His first novel for children, TheBoy In The Striped Pyjamas, won two Irish Book Awards, was shortlisted for the British Book Award and was made into a film. His novels are published in over 40 languages.
Oliver Jeffers is an internationally acclaimed author/illustrator. His first picture book, How to Catch a Star was published in 2004. Since then he has created a further five picture books to much critical acclaim. He has won the Irish Book Award (where he first met John), the Blue Peter Book of the Year and the Nestle Children's Book Prize as well as a host of shortlistings, including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal.