Home > Fantasy, Intermediate Fiction, Junior Fiction > Noah Barleywater Runs Away A Fairytale by John Boyne

Noah Barleywater Runs Away A Fairytale by John Boyne

Noah Barleywater Runs away by John Boyne. Pub David Fickling Books, 2010.

A marvellous book from the writer of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. It is hard to follow a classic but John Boyne has done it in brilliant style and with a story that is so different.

Early in the morning before the dew has set and before everyone is up, eight year old Noah Barleywater dresses, and without breakfast or telling anyone, runs away from home. Why?

He passes through a couple of villages where people are not friendly and finally comes to a huge and very impressive tree. Behind the tree is a ramshackled house made of wood, so feeling very hungry he goes in and finds a toy shop where all the toys are made of wood and around the walls are a number of puppets.

The shop appears magical to Noah for magical it is. An old man who owns the shop comes out to him feeds his hunger and together they swap stories about their lives and the reason why Noah has run away.

John Boyne describes his novel as a Fairytale so if you know the story of Pinocchio you will understand why. This is a magical tale that links past and present, it ends well and wishes everybody a wonderful life.

It is the story of growth, facing circumstances and taking chances. A boy grows into a young  man and a young man grows into an old man. Sometimes with regrets.

Something in this novel for everyone but aimed at children  of middle school and Intermediate age.

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