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Nobody's Boy

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  13,612 ratings  ·  898 reviews
A compelling story in which orphaned Remi gets hired out to a traveling street entertainer when his foster parents fall on hard times. Going from village to village with its act, ‘nobody’s boy’ has numerous adventures until his boss also falls on hard times and perishes, homeless and destitute. Remi’s life includes a number of surprising twists and turns, leading to a clim ...more
Kindle Edition, Annotated Edition, 255 pages
Published September 24th 2016 by Feedbooks (first published 1878)
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Ajith Peter Wonderful books and wonderful narration..never boring..what touches most is the innocence and narration ..surely makes one nostalgic and imaginative.
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Sans Famille = Nobody's Boy = Alone in the World, Hector Malot

Sans Famille is an 1878 French novel by Hector Malot. The novel was reportedly inspired by the Italian street musicians of the 19th century, in particular the harpists from Viggiano, Basilicata.

Jerome Barberin lives with his wife in a little French town, Chavanon (on the edge of the Central Massif, near the origins of the river Loire). He usually works in Paris as a mason. One day he finds a baby boy in Paris. The boy wears very fine
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think I read this when I was about 9. It was my very first novel. I remember telling my mum I was sick so I could stay home from school and finish it.
Because it's the novel that made me fall in love with reading, it gets 5 stars from me :)
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Children)
Shelves: childrens, 501
This is a coming of age story of Remi Barbarin a 6-y/o Italian boy who is adopted by a poor couple when they find him abandoned in front of government building where Mr. Barbarin works. However, Mr. Barbarin's motive of adopting him is with the hope that someday the infant baby in silk clothes (hint that the baby's parents are rich), will be asked back by his parents in exchange of a huge money. Years passed and when Mr. Barbarin feels that it will no longer happen, he sells the boy to a perform ...more
My mother read this series to us when we were very young. We didn't have a television so our nightly reading sessions were like the best possible TV series. I remember begging and crying for her not to stop! She developed character voices and accents. It was as real as anything.
I think little Remi, orphaned to the circus with his monkey friend really influenced my gypsy lifestyle when I grew older. Reading out loud, try it sometime. It's a very different experience.
These books were antiques when
Christopher Bunn
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hector Malot wrote Nobody's Boy back in the 1870s. It's a very slow, dreamy story, completely lacking in the speed and cliff-hanging and spectacle that define modern writing. I suppose a lot of readers would find his story boring or somewhat maudlin, but I found myself entranced by the combination of word precision and a sensation of something akin to gliding slowly down a river. A river in the French countryside, of course, apropos to the story, gleaming with lazy summer sunlight.

Malot's use of
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Before the age of 10, this was my favorite book of all times. I read it about twenty times between the ages of 9 and 12, or something like that, and I cried every single damned time at it. It's impossible how much feeling I got from that book!

Remi was and I think he still is the perfect child character in a book! And Vitalis was such a good man.. (view spoiler) I wanted to go around the world and have three dogs and a
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the wonderfully moving story of an orphan who hopes to one day find his true family. There are many interesting subplots as well about the general condition of orphan children throughout 19th France, very much like Dickens revealed similar mistreatment of youth through his highly critical and scrutinizing enlightenment.
This story is bound to have you shed a few tears. If you ever the opportunity, watch the tv mini-series of the same title.
If a great tale for children, it remains an equal
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, classic, children
Touchy feely. I read it as a kid and loved it. I would have rated it 5 stars if I'd been here on GRs at that time.

I'd say this book is perfect for children, until they grow up and realize there's something wrong with the ending. Malot made a point in Remi's sudden wealth at the end, after all the struggles and tears. The way Remi uses his unexpected, ladylike, generous mother's money to fix things made me feel as if he cannot bring happiness to others if he's not rich.
If you're looking for something to read in French to improve your language skills, I recommend this book.

Improving my French was exactly the reason why I picked Sans Famille up. It's a children's book, XIX century classic. Pretty easy to read.

At the center of the plot is an orphaned young boy. I was a little creeped out at first because the book kicked off with Rémi being BOUGHT and taken away from his foster parents by a strange old man. Gosh, this probably looked different to a XIX century re
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book in all the world. In fourth grade my teacher read this aloud to the class every day after lunch, and it opened my eyes to a whole new type of literature. I have read it to my children, and it is one of their favorites as well.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is actually my favorite book. I read it for the first time years ago when I was in elementary school(I’m now 22) and ever since I've re-read it quite a few times… I totally recommend it to EVERYONE, not because it’s MY fav book, but because the story is wonderful, it never stops being up to date and it ALWAYS manages to make you feel the same things… I can go read it right now, and I will STILL experience the same sadness, happiness, anger, surprise, hearbreak… I will STILL burst into tears ...more
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, though not originally written as a children's classic, has been considered one. This is only one of the traits it shares with Dickens' Oliver Twist. Both novels chronicle the tragic wanderings of foundlings whose only desire is to belong somewhere. In both cases, the boys are pursued by those who wish them ill and in both cases, they are nearly sucked into a life of crime. Remi, though as unlucky as Oliver, receives more kindness and assistance, generally speaking, than his English co ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book countless times when I was younger, and little Remi went straight to my heart. You really feel for him and want him to be happy. It's still a book I pick up every now and then, and one of those stories I will never forget.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I was about ten years old when I read this book. Still remember a lot though.
Rika - (The Unpretentious Reader)
I first saw this as a cartoon when I was 8 years old.. it broke my heart.

I read it 15 years later.. It broke it all over again.
I had to stop at several points to take a breather and dry my eyes.
Even as I write this review I find it difficult to keep my tears at pay.

Remi is a sweet little child who'll capture your heart from his very first moment.. From the very first line I was hooked *I knew I would be since I dearly loved the cartoon, but to read is it, it's a whole another experience*..
I was
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
OMG this book! I've read it hundreds of time when I was a child, it was one of my favorite books. If I think about it, it was a bit dark, but with a happy ending. I loved the monkey and the dog and poor Vitalis, such a nice man. wow, now finding this book is like revisiting all those passages again, it was like I've read this yesterday, so nostalgic.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a childhood favourite and I loved this re-read. It is even more heartbreaking now that I'm an adult and have kids. I hope I can get my kids to read this, I just love this book so much
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
A nostalgic read. This French late 19th century novel is clearly a tale that aims at teaching children good values and a few moral lessons. I did not read the book in my childhood but I vividly remember watching the Japanese cartoon version after school (produced a century after publication) and discussing the episode with my friends the next day. The plot is a lot longer than I remember, for example, I don’t remember Remi working in the coal mine in the TV series. Remi is loveable for his innoc ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I would like anyone enjoying this book. I mean it. I read this when I was in secondary school, a time witnessing my hormones level fluctuating and my mind trying to adjust to that of everyday teenager. I remember the time I cried so much for Remi, for his teacher, for everyone loving and expecting his return. I remember how much I loathed the evils manifested in some people while looking back, I know it was nothing compared to the real world. This book witnessed my change, my journey to adulthoo ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adaption
OMG! This book gave me so much feelings, like I actually CRIED with a book for the first time. The adventure, the hardship, the twist and turns, you just gotta love them all. It is the best one I read and it's only the first in the new year.

I watched the anime first and thought it was sad, but boy did I speak too soon?! the book is even more emotional. The anime was interesting enough to make me want to read the original and as always the case with classics, it didn't fail to amaze me one bit.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another gift, this one from my sister, which I enjoyed very much (still only gets 3 stars for being heavy-handed). It's a reprint of a classic 19th-century French novel (in English translation; the original title is "Sans Famille"), about the adventures of a boy separated from his family.
According to Project Gutenberg, it is "justly famous as one of the supreme juvenile stories of the world." Apparently it has been translated into about a bazillion languages and made into films in a number of l
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My father read this to me when I was only three years old. My mother told him I was too young to understand but he disagreed. Now it's his favourite anecdote to tell about little me, how I was so intrigued by the story and how I asked him halfway through: daddy, I don't know why, but I can't stop crying?
This story was one of the first books that has made me love stories for the rest of my life. Beautiful!
Haylee Luu
this is an amazing/extraordinary/spectacular book. It's about the adventure of Remi - a homeless boy. He travelled with his boss - Vitalis. There are so many breath-taking and heartbreaking scene. When Vitalis died,i felt so depressed like Remi :( Beautifully written! Such a must-read classic for everyone!
This entire book relied on the biggest coincidence ever and it started to annoy me so much. I did enjoy the first part with Vitalis but once he's no longer in the story (which happens pretty quickly) it just becomes long and boring and unbelievable. I could rant about this book forever but I already put too much energy into it.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-reads
Nostalgia towards childhood forced me to buy this book and I really liked it .
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really love this book. It's one of my favorite. It is bittersweet, full of feelings. It makes you feel so many things. You cry about the deaths. You smile about the good things. You travel with the boy. Such a wonderful book.
I wish I'd read this when I was little - I'd have loved it even more!
mid 1850s
mostly in France, a few chapters are set in England
rec: a map of France

I am a foundling.
But until I was eight years old I thought I had a mother, just as all other children did.

So begins the story. Remi is indentured to Vitalis who walked the roads, stopping in towns and cities to perform with three talented dogs, a monkey, and a metal fife. After making his 'deal,' he had a young boy to add to his troupe.

What follows is a series of adventures, both bad and good, all of which shape
Natalia Gaete
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The perfect Happy ending! I loved it! In the end everyone got what they deserved...! Surely It's one of my favourite classics I've read which I can't put down before finishing... it made me shed tears of sorrow and happiness with its characters.. oh I'm so reading it again... its timeless.. you can relate to it whenever and at whatever age you read it..."
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Missing cover 5 19 Dec 12, 2019 11:49PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Should these two books be combined? 2 30 Jun 04, 2017 04:30AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Nobody's boy by Hector Malot 6 27 Aug 21, 2015 02:54PM  
easy read classic...: NOBODY'S BOY 3 32 Oct 10, 2012 07:29AM  

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Hector Malot was a French writer born in La Bouille, Seine-Maritime. He studied law in Rouen and Paris, but eventually literature became his passion. He worked as a dramatic critic for Lloyd Francais and as a literary critic for L'Opinion Nationale.
His first book, published in 1859, was Les Amants. In total Malot wrote over 70 books. By far his most famous book is Sans Famille (Nobody's Boy, 1878)

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