Noah Barleywater Runs Away

Publisher: David Fickling Books

Review

John Boyne's second children's novel is a modern but ageless fairytale about a boy who runs away from home deep into a forest. Here, he discovers a small toy shop, owned by an old man who has a host of stories to tell which help Noah cope with an impending tragedy in his home life, and return to face it.

His escape into the forest and the bizarre, often unsettling puppet figures carved by the old man reflect Noah’s disturbed mental state, and the distortion of real life experienced during such trauma.

An uncomfortable book, thought-provoking but unsettling.

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