Shortlisted for Irish Book Award: Children’s Book of the Year
Shortlisted for the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award
Shortlisted for the Hull Children’s Book Award (UK)
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2013
There’s nothing unusual about the Brockets. Boring, respectable and fiercely proud of it, Alistair and Eleanor Brocket turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it’s clear he’s anything but normal. To the horror and shame of his parents, Barnaby appears to defy the laws of gravity – and floats.
Little Barnaby is a lonely child – after all, it’s hard to make friends when you’re ten feet in the air. Desperate to please his parents, he does his best to stop floating, but he just can’t do it. Then, one fateful day, Barnaby’s mother decides enough is enough. She never asked for a weird, abnormal, floating child. She’s sick and tired of the newspapers prying and the neighbours gossiping. Barnaby has to go . . .
Betrayed, frightened and alone, Barnaby floats into the path of a very special hot air balloon. And so begins a magical journey around the world; from South America to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even a trip into space, Barnaby meets a cast of truly extraordinary new friends and realises that nothing can make you happier than just being yourself.
“Another very well-written novel with an original and clever plot… with elements of Dahl-esque wackiness and Snickety malice. This is an imaginative and highly entertaining story about a boy who is different and learns to be proud of the fact.”
- The Irish Independent
“Unashamedly and often delightfully whimsical… It has much of the pell-mell what-the-hell-happens-nextness of Dahl and Ibbotson”
- The Guardian
“Boyne’s previous children’s novels have dealt with serious, life-changing themes and his deftness of touch is equally evident in this uplifting celebration of otherness.”
- Daily Mail
“This is a book very much on the side of the child, operating rather in the same way that the children’s novels of Roald Dahl operate… Oliver Jeffers’s black-and-white illustrations capture both the wit and pathos of Boyne’s text.”
- The Irish Times
“A fun and thought-provoking story of self-discovery, and the humor and gentleness with which Boyne delivers his message make it both unforgettable and delightful.”
- Publishers Weekly