Skip to main content

Review: The Terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

The Terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne

Barnaby Brocket is an ordinary 8-year-old boy in most ways, but he was born different in one important way: he floats. Unlike everyone else, Barnaby does not obey the law of gravity. His parents, who have a horror of being noticed, want desperately for Barnaby to be normal, but he can't help who he is. And when the unthinkable happens, Barnaby finds himself on a journey that takes him all over the world. From Brazil to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even to space, the floating boy meets all sorts of different people--and discovers who he really is along the way.
This whimsical novel will delight middle graders, and make readers of all ages question the meaning of normal.


I absolutely loved this book. It is far younger than what I would ever normally pick up and read but it is awesome in so many ways.

Firstly the message this book gives out is brilliant. It really plays with the idea about what it means to be different and how those differences should be celebrated. I loved how Barnaby just went with it and embraced his differences despite being brought up in a home with parents who loathed his differences. There a times in the book when you really feel for poor Barnaby and what he goes through and it is also fan to see how he just takes it all in his stride.

I loved that this book had a very Roald Dahl feel to it. Reading it took me back to the days when I was reading books like Matilda in how the story was written and I am sure if for nothing else this book will be loved by both young and old for that reason alone.

An really sad and uplifting book both at the same time which I certainly having done justice to in this review. Just buy it and fall in love with Barnaby and his abnormal ways. 


I love this title! It is weird that I really dig the name Barnaby? This will definitely be a book I buy and pass on to my nieces and nephews. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!
Loved this one, I let a workmate borrow it for his daughter and she devoured it, I cant wait to have kids and share it with them! :)