Tag Archives: John Boyne

John Boyne introduces The Boy at the Top of the Mountain

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain is the new book from John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Stay Where You Are And Then Leave.  I love John’s writing for both younger and older readers and I am especially excited to read his now book.  Here is John Boyne introducing the book and reading an extract and talking about his World War Two novels:

When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

Quickly, Pierrot is taken under Hitler’s wing, and is thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets and betrayal, from which he may never be able to escape.

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain is available now in NZ from Penguin Random House NZ.

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My Most Anticipated October Kids and YA New Releases from Penguin Random House NZ

From the Cutting Room of Barney Kettle by Kate De Goldi

Barney Kettle knew he would be a very famous film director one day, he just didn’t know when that day would arrive. He was already an actual director – he’d made four fifteen-minute films – but so far only his schoolmates and the residents of the High Street had viewed them. Global fame was a little way off. It would come, though. Barney was certain about that …

So begins the manuscript written from the hospital bed of an unnamed man. He has written it over many months as he recovers from serious injuries sustained in a city-wide catastrophe.

He has written so he can remember the street where he lived – the inner-city High Street, home to a cavalcade of interesting people, marvellous shops and curious stories.

He has written so he can remember that last summer before he was injured, the last days of a vanished world. Above all, he has written so he can remember the inimitable Barney Kettle, filmmaker, part-time dictator, questing brain, good-hearted friend; Barney Kettle, who liked to invent stories but found a real one under his nose; Barney Kettle, who explored his neighbourhood with camera in hand and stumbled on a mystery that changed everything …

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his Aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy household at the top of the German mountains. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

Quickly, Pierrot is taken under Hitler’s wing, and is thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets and betrayal, from which he may never be able to escape.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met – a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die…

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John Boyne talks about Stay Where You Are And Then Leave

The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight – but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission.

Then, while shining shoes at King’s Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father’s name – on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by – a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place

I’m loving John Boyne’s latest book, Stay Where You Are And Then Leave. Here’s John talking about the book

Stay Where You Are And Then Leave is out in bookstores and libraries now.

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Win a signed copy of The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

John Boyne is touring New Zealand this week, including attending the Christchurch Writer’s Festival.  I had the pleasure of interviewing him this morning, and I’ll be posting this soon.  As well as signing my copies of Noah Barleywater Runs Away and The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket, John kindly signed two extra copies of Barnaby Brocket.

If you would like to win one of 2 signed copies of The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket all you have to do is enter your details in the form below.  Competition closes Friday 7 September (NZ only).

Thanks to everyone who entered.  This competition is now closed.

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The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

John Boyne is an incredibly talented and versatile writer.  He writes for both adults and children, and he can write incredibly moving stories that punch you in the gut or magical stories that make you laugh.  John’s latest book for younger readers is a wonderful, whimsical tale of an unusual little boy, called The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket.

There’s nothing unusual about the Brockets. Boring, respectable and fiercely proud to be as normal as normal can be, Alistair and Eleanor Brocket 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 normal. To the horror and shame of his parents, Barnaby appears to defy the laws of gravity – and floats. Little Barnaby is a lonely child – after all, it’s hard to make friends when you’re pressed against the ceiling all day. Desperate to please his parents, he does his best to stop floating, but he simply can’t do it. It’s just not who he is. Then, one fateful day, Barnaby’s mother decides enough is enough. She never asked for a weird, abnormal, floating child. She’s sick and tired of the newspapers prying and the neighbours gossiping. 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; from South America to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even a trip into space, Barnaby meets a cast of truly extraordinary new friends and realises that nothing can make you happier than just being yourself.

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is one of my favourite books of 2012.  John Boyne has crafted a magical, imaginative tale that celebrates difference and takes us around the world, introducing us to an interesting cast of characters along the way.  Whenever I’ve been asked to recommend books similar to Roald Dahl I’ve always struggled because his writing is so unique, but Barnaby Brocket is a perfect example (as is John’s previous book, Noah Barleywater Runs Away).  The characters in Barnaby Brocket are very Dahl-esque, especially Barnaby’s horrible, selfish parents.  As soon as he is born, Barnaby is the bane of his parent’s life.  They are normal people who want a normal life, but Barnaby is anything but.  A son who floats and gets a lot of attention threatens their normal lives, so his mother does the unthinkable.  The worst thing is that they don’t even regret what they did!  We discover why they behave the way that they do, but it doesn’t excuse their actions.

I love all the interesting characters that Barnaby meets on his travels.  There’s Liam (the boy with hooks for hands), Joshua Pruitt (the window cleaner with a hidden talent) and the imprisoned members of Freakitude.  They’re all different in their own ways and they not only help Barnaby get back home, but also help him to realise that nothing can make you happier than just being yourself.

Oliver Jeffers’ illustrations are fantastic as always and they perfectly match the style and tone of the story.  Oliver’s illustrations are spread throughout the book and they really bring John’s cast of characters alive.  I especially like the Oliver’s illustration of ‘An odd collection of friends.’  I hope we see more collaborations between John and Oliver.

Grab The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket from your library or bookshop now and share it with the children in your life.

5 out of 5 stars

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The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket Book Trailer

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is the latest children’s book from John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.  I’m reading it at the moment and absolutely loving it!  John Boyne is coming to Christchurch at the end of August for the Christchurch Writer’s Festival and I’m very excited to be interviewing him on behalf of Christchurch City Libraries.

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket is out in NZ on August 17.

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