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3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  146 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
One silver-starry night, a shiny, wooden egg falls from a flying machine high in the air . . . down, down, down through the midnight sky . . . down to the small village of Pumbleditch, where Barkbelly is born. Where he’s the only wooden boy. And where he’s the cause of a tragic accident.

Suddenly, Barkbelly’s only choice is to flee for his life—to run. As he tries to escape
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 25th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2005)
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Bryony Vine
Aug 13, 2015 Bryony Vine rated it it was amazing
This is genuinely one of my favourite books of all time.
I met Cat Weatherill at school on my birthday years and years ago, it was a wonderful experience and she is a talented story teller.

This book is rich and full of adventure, it is definitely the kind of world you can slip into like a glove. A lot of fantasy relies on long epic histories and continental maps of the world, this book doesn't need to. It just lets you wriggle into it through language and the dropping of hints; boys called Fish a
Jun 29, 2008 Amanda rated it liked it
I’m pretty sure I read about this one over at Pixie Stix. She has it tagged “Quirky and Hard to Define.” That it is. I enjoyed it, though. It would make a great read aloud- the epic quest for self-identification is moderately episodic, keeps you wondering what will happen next, and has great character names like Candy Pie and Farmer Muckledown. I liked it so much that I immediately picked up the companion, Snowbone, but it was too much of a good thing. I think I only got through the first chapte ...more
Conan Tigard
Nov 13, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it
Right from the first paragraph, I fell in love with Barkbelly. I thoroughly enjoyed how Cat Weatherill tolls a story and the pace she creates as the story unfolds. As for Barkbelly himself, he is a highly likeable main character that is constantly searching for who he is. Never feeling quite at home where he grew up, he knows that he must search out the island from which his people come from to truly understand himself. What he finds on his journey shocks not only the reader, but poor Barkbelly ...more
I bought this book at a big book sale near my work place.
I was a little skeptical about this book because it sounded like a too much of a happy ending type of fairy tale story.....but if I'm honest with myself, the word....."Banana Jam" caught my attention LOL, yep as weird as that sound, I kept coming back to this book and finally decided I shall take a chance with "Banana Jam".
I am so glad that I did because this book was really amazing, not at all your typical "happy ending" fairy tale story,
Barkbelly goes on adventure after adventure - this isn't a modern fairy tale, where everything works out swimmingly in the end for everyone we've met. From before he's born, his life is an adventure, full of ups and downs and lots of learning along the way.

It's enthralling, and engaging - certainly had *me* engaged! It's full of unexpected twists and turns, and quite a bit of adventure. Can't find a single fault to complain about!

I don't know much about children, but I'd imagine this would be be
Nov 12, 2008 Shauna rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2007 babyhippoface rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-fiction, fantasy
Barkbelly is a wooden boy living in the human world. When he accidentally kills a playmate, he runs away and eventually begins a quest to find others who are like him. Along the way he gets a job in a factory, spends time as a human cannonball, and faces pirates. Though wooden, Barkbelly expresses thoughts and feelings quite human as he struggles to find a sense of belonging, faces consequences for his actions and challenges to his values, and begins to understand the importance of forging relat ...more
Aug 25, 2015 Lois rated it it was amazing
Weatherill has crafted a story of imagination and mystery with some of the most creative writing I've ever read. I loved learning about the history, lands, and peoples in the world of Barkbelly. It's up there with The Princess Bride and The Tale of Despereaux. Parents should know that it contains quite a bit of violence and there is smoking, drinking, and some language.
Nov 08, 2012 Mohammad711 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 7th-grade-shelf
This book so far is one of my favorite . But the ending could have had been better. I really liked how each time he ran away from one place to another there was a new story. And in the end all of the stories connect into together into another story. I wish it ended happily with him with his parents instead of ending it with him go back to his fake parents.
Barkbelly had to go through so many problems throughout the entire book. First he had to go through accidentally killing his friend. Then he w
Casey Bell
Jul 08, 2014 Casey Bell rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite books from childhood...l literally think I've read this over 10 times...ha-ha. And I would love a movie adaptation for this book...but it's good enough that it doesn't really need one.
Nathan Burt
Sep 14, 2011 Nathan Burt rated it liked it
This book was a really good book, the reason I only am giving it three stars is because and some points in the book the story got kind of boring but the parts were there is a lot happening is was really enjoyable. This book is about wooden boy living in our world, When he accidentally kills his friend, he runs away and begins is journey to find where he belongs. Along the way he has some good and bad experiences.
Feb 23, 2010 Kevin rated it liked it
Despite the cleverness of the story, and the quality of the storytelling at times, this one never quite came together for me.

It felt like Barkbelly's story was patched together rather than a seamless whole. It has interesting characters and settings - and even a interesting twist that makes the ending more emotional - but the whole seemed less than the parts for some reason.
May 01, 2008 Turi rated it really liked it
Heard about this book in a review of the sequel, Snowbone and thought it sounded pretty good. It's the story of a wooden boy, living in a wonderfully imagined world, and his struggles to fit in and find where he belongs. Similar in feel to another kids book I recently enjoyed, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Can't wait to read the sequel, now...
Feb 22, 2008 Kathy rated it really liked it
Started off reminding me of "Howl's moving castle", then moved to be the story of a good-hearted wooden boy in search of his "real" family. Simple sentence structure at first, yet advanced vocabulary by the end makes me wonder what age level this is aimed at.
Kate Forsyth
Jul 21, 2013 Kate Forsyth rated it really liked it
A wonderfully written, rambunctious adventure fantasy for children, Barkbelly also carries important messages about the importance of tolerance and compassion. I loved Cat Weatherill's earlier book Wild Magic which retells the Pied Piper of Hamelin fairy tale, and so I was really glad to read her newest venture.
Jun 10, 2008 Luann rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2008
I enjoyed this! I especially enjoyed Weatherill's lyrical writing style. The storyline felt a little choppy with Barkbelly never staying in one place long. He is a very likeable character, though. I was rooting for him the entire time. I'm going to add the companion novel, "Snowbone" to my to-read shelf.
Albert -Zairus Ice- Lorenzana
This has a very dark theme which tends to be pretty heavy on some chapters. What I like on this one though is how well the author presented the reality of life. There will be times when you are not welcome, you're misunderstood, lost, weary, but you have to move on, be strong and live life.
Nov 23, 2007 Paul rated it liked it
After finishing this book I noted, with no surprise, that the author is a performance storyteller. The book has a definite "fable told 'round the campfire" feel that I found engaging. A few of the characters could have used more depth, but all in all a nice little piece.
Feb 24, 2015 Madelén rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I thought this was a beautiful, charming book, and I never got enough while reading it. I really felt Barkbelly's pain or happiness whenever, and I never struggled to understand what Cat Weatherill meant with her words. I would love to read it again sometime.
Dec 11, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jenn Sechler
This was on our Fantasy display this month and I kept noticing the cover. I don't care for the title, but I started reading it and the prose begs to be read out loud. Probably because the author is a performance storyteller and this is her first book!
Mar 29, 2013 ymegrath rated it really liked it
Another book that our 12 year old recommended to me. He read it a couple of years ago and loved it and has been asking me ever since to read it. I finally did and it was a good book!!! Full of kid-friendly suspense. : )
Jul 11, 2014 Lauryn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kids, adults wanting a fun little book
Barkbelly is a fun little book about a wooden boy and struggles trying to find a place to fit in. His adventures include being a human cannonball, fighting pirates, and finding out where he came from.
May 24, 2010 Verdi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A wooden boy accidentally kills someone, runs away, and tries to find the island on which he was born.
Oct 15, 2012 Lily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this for Gemma after seeing Cat Weatherill performing as a storyteller at our village hall.
Mar 24, 2012 RedEye_Witch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had fun reading this book, even though it took me longer than my usual speed of reading a book.
A. Somers
Aug 26, 2008 A. Somers rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Students in grades 3-5
A cute fantasy story that was recommended by one of my students.
Jul 15, 2008 Englesia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone and anyone
Recommended to Englesia by: Uncle Warren(for Christmas)
The most blessed and amazing book about finding yourself.
Jan 31, 2009 Terry rated it did not like it
Too much deus ex machina
Itsprincesskady marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
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