Sarah's Reviews > Noah Barleywater Runs Away

Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne
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's review
Jul 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2010, for-review-read
Read on September 23, 2010

Eight year old Noah has decided to run away from home, there are things happening in his life that he is struggling to understand and doesn't know how to deal with so he decides to go out into the world and have a great adventure. Following a path through the forest he comes across a magical toy shop and the mysterious toy maker. The toy maker takes Noah on a journey sharing the tales of his past adventures and helping Noah to make sense of the present.

Noah Barleywater Runs Away is a beautiful tale full of mystery and wonder, you never know what to expect next and that was one of the things I loved about the book. Although the ARC I read isn't illustrated I understand that the final hardcover version has been beautifully illustrated by Oliver Jeffers and I'm definitely planning on buying a finished copy.

The story is suitable for all ages but I think it will particularly appeal to a younger audience or anyone who would like to re-connect to their inner child. Reading it took me back to my childhood laying in bed and listening to one of my parents reading fairytales to me & I think this will quickly become a favorite story for both parents and children.

I loved the characters, John Boyne has perfectly captured an eight year old childs logic and thought processes in Noah and he is a character you can't help but fall in love with. I laughed out loud at the antics of the donkey and the dachshund but you're going to have to read the book to find out more about them. Although the toy maker shares his life story he is quite a mysterious character and we don't get to find out who he is until nearly the end of the book - I have to say it was a fabulous twist at the end and I'm surprised I didn't work it out for myself as I was reading. The toy shop itself is a wonderful setting to the story and it really is a whimsical place where anything could happen.

This is a beautiful tale that covers topics such as love, loss and disappointment but it does so in a gentle way that a child can understand. It includes plenty of humor so it isn't at all heavy to read but it did bring tears to my eyes in a couple of places. Having said that I found the book also offered hope and left me feeling quite uplifted by the end.

This really is a wonderful story and something to be enjoyed by all ages or together as a family for bed time reading. I would highly recommend Noah Barleywater Runs Away so make sure you pick up your copy soon!

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