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Stay Where You Are and Then Leave

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  7,997 ratings  ·  1,090 reviews
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
Hardcover, 247 pages
Published September 26th 2013 by Doubleday Childrens
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Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
After reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, I was sold on John Boyne as well as the enjoyment of reading young adult novels.

In this wonderful children's story, Alfie's determination to locate and rescue his beloved father leads him on a heartfelt and eventful adventure. While secretly working as a shoeshine boy to help his mother put food on the table during WW1, the nine year old lad discovers an important clue regarding his father's whereabouts and plans a secret mission resulting in his fir

Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
"It has to end one day. Wars always do. The new ones can't
start if the old ones don't end."

I don't read children's literature much these days but this book, Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne caught my eye. I loved John Boyne's adult novel about the Great War, The Absolutist and I was curious about how he would handle this subject in a book especially for children. As it turns out, John Boyne has written an honest but sensitive book about what it was like to be a child during World
Because of Alfie, this gets 5 stars. This is the 3rd book by this author that I've read. I didn't love his 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' was only 3 stars for me. 'The Absolutist' got 4 stars. I love this author's writing. His prose is absolutely beautiful. So many times, I felt wowed. He has a gift with words.

I loved the story too. Alfie was such a sweet and endearing character. He also felt like a real child who had to grow up too fast. I was sad to see this book end. I think I'm still
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
When WWI changed the lives of not only those who went to war, but also those who stayed behind, what must it have been like for a five year old child whose loving Father is suddenly no longer there.....
Alfie’s Dad had always been a Dad who was very much part of his son’s life, and the little boy is bereft when his adored parent marches off to do his bit in France.
As the months turn into years, and eventually even his Dads letters stop coming, Alfie, growing up, and realising his Mum is struggli
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley and Henry Holt and Company for the advanced copy

Alfie Summerfield discovers on his fifth birthday that his father is going off to war, World War I to be exact, and will return when the war is over, before Christmas. That time before Christmas lasts for more than four years. He was told by his mother that the reason why letters didn't come in through the mail was because he was on a secret mission, but to Alfie, all he could translate this to was that he was dead.

It wasn't unt
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Alfie and his family live a pretty uneventful life. All he wants to do is ride the milk float with his father. Then his father does something that changes their life forever. He volunteers to be in the war.

This setting is probably what interested me in the most. If you know about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, you'll know I pretty much cried when I saw the movie. So naturally I had to pick this one up. I liked reading about th
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I'm nine," said Alfie for the second time. "Well, you'll be ten soon enough, I imagine. Nine year-old boys usually turn ten at some point. It's the nineteen-year-olds who have difficulty turning twenty." (122)

Stay Where You Are And Then Leave is a triumphant story of a young English boy named Alfie who's father enlists in the army during the first world war. Alfie stays behind in London with his mother, grandmother, and their various neighbours as he braves a new world that makes little sense t
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Check out Scott Reads It for more reviews!

Few books have left a greater impression than The Boy In The Striped Pajamas did and years after reading it, I still get goosebumps thinking about it. I decided I would read Stay Where You Are & Then Leave because I was eager to see how John Boyne would tackle World War One. Though Boyne's latest novel isn't as memorable or unique as The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, it still has a lot going for it.

Alfie's character is beaming with innocence and he doesn
Stacey (prettybooks)
As 2014 is the 100th anniversary of World War I (or, The Great War), we should expect many children's and young adult historical novels to come. (I hope). I grew up watching war films and Dad's Army, so I'd love to read more novels set during that period of history. Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is one of the first novels for young people to be published ahead of the centenary, written by John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas .

Alfie Summerfield was just five years old when
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Does a different take on the typical "war novel for kids". It's good to see a light cast on all the mental torture endured and afflicted upon the soldiers. It is an often overlooked detail. ...more
Ye Lin Aung
The story narrated through the view of a 5~9 years old boy about the WWI and the families left behind. And his adventure that saves his dad. Lovely little book (which you can probably finish in one gulp) about love and friendship :)
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This review first appeared on The Book Zone(For Boys) blog

I read a lot of books. I always have, but since I started blogging I must read more than ever. Due to the volume I read some books are read, enjoyed and quickly forgotten (I also have a terrible memory). Some books linger in the memory for a little longer, for whatever reason. And then there are a small minority of books that take hold of your mind or your heart (or both) and simply refuse to let go. I read Stay Where You Are And Then Le
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-sale
Quick read
Stories set in war times, are always emotional. I liked the story but I wasn't as moved as I was by the Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Stay where you and leave is a brilliant read which I thoroughly enjoyed.

the story is told from the point of view of Alfie who is 9. His father went to war and never returned and he can't quite fathom what happened to him because his father insist he isn't dead. Alfie helps out his mother by working as a shoe shine a few days a week and whilst doing that he finds a clue as to where his father might be and decides to investigate further.

I must admit I was never a huge fan of boy in the striped p
Raven and Beez

If you X-rayed me right now, you would see shards of my heart all over my chest. So before beginning this review, WARNING!: YOU WILL BE EMOTIONALLY TRAUMATIZED BY THE HANDS OF A PAPERBACK!

Moving on...

I love history. It's something that surprises people for some reason. I might not know everything about history but I love knowing more about it. There is the appeal of the unknown. So I guess that is one of the reasons why I picked up this book from the libr
2.5* rounded up. I find it difficult to rate most children's books, as I'm too aware of the shortcomings and not really sure how much those shortcomings affect the book's ability to inform and/or entertain children. While I can see how this might be a good introduction to WWI for older children/young teens, and I can see how this is a different take on the subject to most books for that age, there were some factors which I found very problematic. The age of the protagonist makes much of the stor ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good, but not as good as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (which is by the same author).

Unfortunately the book suffers slightly from the ‘everything-is-resolved-really-quickly’ syndrome towards the end and, as a result, I feel like the book could have done with being a bit longer.

However the book was written for younger readers, so I can understand why the author decided to keep it relatively short.

It’s not one that I’d recommend to ‘older’ readers particularly, but I can see it being a goo
Simply beautiful.

What we learn from this book is,
Love conquers all,
True love make it all possible,
The purest love moves mountains!

“It's a big world, isn't it?' said Georgie. 'Do you think they hate each other on other planets too?”

“It was the fact that I didn't want to kill anyone. I wasn't put on this earth to murder my fellow man. I'd grown up with violence - can't you see that? I can't bear it.”
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Father makes the decision to sign up for ww1 before the draft started in England. The family is left for years to make ends meat. Letters arrive with good cheer and then become sparse and dark. The father returns home but is in mental hospital not in the same condition that he left. He has shell shock which in today’s terms would be known as PTSD.
Jessica Gillies
To be totally honest, a disappointment compared to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The plot became a lot more interesting around the 3/4 mark, and this would be a good way to introduce children to the topics of WWI, trench warfare, and its aftermath.
** Books 67 - 2018 **

3,2 of 5 stars!

It is actually a good enough story for me. Slow pace in the first beginning of books but it is getting better in last half books. Iam enjoying the moment when Alfie looking for his Daddie and it is breaking my heart if i put my shoes like Alfie

World war is always a tragic story and so many people lost their families at that time.. but still i love more the nightingale and sarah's keys than this pieces

I feel the ending still lack something. I dunno why the exe
Alex  Baugh
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-i
For Alfie Summerfield, the first five years of his life had been grand. He was a happy little boy, and his dad and mum were happy with each other and with him. His father, Georgie Summerfield, delivered milk and drove a milk float every morning pulled by a horse name Mr. Asquith. It was Alfie's dream to some day be big enough to ride along side his dad and help. Alfie's Granny Summerfield, who lived right across the street, always liked to come around for a bit of a gossip. And Alfie had a best ...more
William Miles
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the past two years, no matter what he writes, John Boyne has become one of my favorite authors!
This will be the third book that I have read by John Boyne. I've previously read The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Boy at the Top of the Mountain and I have to say, I was pretty disappointed. This is one of those books that after time passes, I end up liking it less and less.

The books (the ones I have read of his) are similar in the way that they are all narrated by a young boy, however this book focuses on World War I, whereas the other two focus on WWII. Even though that is the main diffe
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Written from the point of view of a child, this book covers a very disturbing topic and really should be read by high school age and above, not by younger children. Set in London during WWI, which England joins on Alfie's fifth birthday, we see the effects of the war on the women and children, the men who were unwilling or unable to serve, the foreigners in London and on the soldiers themselves. Because his father is away at war, Alfie has no choice but to grow up early and become rather indepen ...more
Ananya Ghosh
This was a faboulous book, the one I needed after the last two disappointments. I like books that enrich me, and this has done just that.
The protagonist was a boy who grows from 5 to 13 during the course of the narrative and his narrative perspective is fresh, raw, real and innocent. Set in the time of First World War, it doesn't document the war but the consequences of it on the lives of people, lower middle class, seldom-wanting-to-change kind of people. The changes it brought to the people o
Claire Sayan
I won this book last year via Goodreads First Reads but just getting round to it. Will post review when finished.

4.5 stars

This book is about a young boy whose father goes away to war. Totally different from my usual read but I enjoyed it all the same and read it in one sitting.

Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
John Boyne continues to astound me with this one. Our young, naïve protagonist learns that his Dad is in hospital and, knowing nothing of shell-shock, decides to bring him back home with the hope that he's recuperate better there. ...more
Eduardo Szeckir
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this book in 2015, and I found a notebook where I put a little review of what I thought. Basically, 14 year old me said he enjoyed reading this book, it was a fast read, but it was kinda predictable and there was no plot twist at the end (I was really into plot twists a few years ago)
Alfie :))
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I was born in Dublin, Ireland, and studied English Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. In 2015, I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.

I’ve published 12 novels for adults, a short story collection and 6 novels for younger readers, including The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas which was a New York Times no.1 Bestseller and

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“It's a big world, isn't it?' said Georgie. 'Do you think they hate each other on other planets too?” 21 likes
“... Nine-year-old boys usually turn ten at some point. It's the nineteen-year-olds who have difficulty turning twenty.” 17 likes
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