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Noah Barleywater Runs Away Hardcover – 1900

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Hardcover, 1900
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: David Fickling Books (1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385752466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385752466
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.2 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,216,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa49aba80) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d77ad20) out of 5 stars didn't keep my son's interest July 30 2011
By book junkie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I read to my son every night- and even though he's perfectly capable of reading himself, we both enjoy it. We've read dozens of children's lit novels, but this one just didn't keep his interest- and it has been a really long time since we read one that he didn't want to finish.

The story begins with Noah Barleywater (obviously) running away. We follow him through several villages, where odd things happen which seem vaguely reminicent of the Wizard of Oz. Eventually he ends up at a toy shop, and the owner befriends him. The shop owner tells stories of his own life and gradually draws Noah's story out as well.

Noah's reason for flight is unexplained but heavily foreshadowed throughout the book. His first few adventures were enjoyable, but after a while, my son didn't care. I suspect that foreshadowing leading up to the revelation at the end is a plot device better suited to adult novels than children's lit.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da951d4) out of 5 stars Creatively written...does ask a lot from young readers Aug. 6 2011
By Nathan Webster - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is creative and imaginative, and to its credit does not "write down" to a young reader. It will expect them to make the connections on their own, and the foreshadowing is generally subtle.

The subtitle is "A Fairy Tale," and that's important. John Boyne does not spend any time preparing the reader for the "world" the book is taking place in. So strange, fantasical things start happening without any preparation or much set-up. That's fine, but it does get a little confusing because the reader has no frame of reference yet. The biggest flaw is the narrative does not build as it goes, so it never seems like its building to a clear climax. Each chapter feels a bit the same. Creative and interesting, but repititious.

Still, the writing and situations should be fun and entertaining for a young reader, but they'll need to be patient early on and not let any confusion get the best of them.

For an adult reader, this is actually a decent read too, though it's certainly not marketed that way.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d83f720) out of 5 stars A Chip Off the Old Block May 10 2011
By Ronald T. Roseborough - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Noah Barleywater is like many of us. When things get too tough to face, we want to run away from them. Noah is only eight years old when he decides to run away, leaving his mom and dad. He is not very prepared for what the world has in store for him. By the time he has gone two towns over and through the woods, he is experiencing a touch of doubt and a rather large hunger. Guided by a talking donkey and an equally loquacious dachshund, he finds a ramshackle cottage that doubles as a toy store. Noah is at first nervous when he meets the old man who owns the shop. It doesn't take long to see that the shop is full of many unexpected surprises included talking clocks and walking doors. Noah is most intrigued by a chest full of puppets that were carved by the old man's father. The tale behind the puppets recounts the life of the old man when he was a young lad. It is a story that Noah finds has many lessons which can be applied to his own life. The book is very charming. The lessons Noah learns will have a heartfelt meaning for many children. Younger readers may miss some of the subtleties of the tale, but young and old will relate to the revelations at the end of this captivating story. This book provided for review by the well read folks at David Fickling Books and Random House Children's Books.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d721804) out of 5 stars And Odd Read June 16 2011
By Beverly L. Archer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I received an ARC of this book from the Amazon Vine program, in return for an honest review.

From the back of the book:

Eight-year-old Noah's problems seem easier to deal with if he doesn't think about them. So he runs away, taking an untrodden path through the forest. Before long he comes across a shop. But this is no ordinary shop. It is a toy shop, full of the most amazing toys and brimming with the most wonderful magic. And here Noah meets a very unusual toymaker. The toymaker has a story to tell and it's a a story of adventure and wonder, and broken promises. He takes Noah on a journey. A journey that will change his life. And it could change yours too.

I had a rather strange reaction to this book. I both liked and disliked this book. When I first started reading it I decided it was not my cup of tea, but I as I kept reading I found myself drawn into the story. There are a lot of hints at just what Noah is running away from and just who the toymaker really is. I kept reading to see if my guesses were right. They were. But I'm still not sure I liked this book.

What I liked about the book: The writing is very colorful and imaginative. Boyne paints some wonderful word pictures. I enjoyed revisiting an old childhood favorite. (If you want to know what fairy tale reappears in this book, you will need to read it for yourself, I don't want to spoil it for you.)

What I didn't like about the book: Though the writing was imaginative, it was also rather strange. It's a truly fractured retelling of a childhood favorite. It's also gloomy. Amazon lists the reading level as 9-12, but I'm not convinced this is really a kids book. Even though the story is about an eight year old boy, it really feels more like an adult novel.

Mrs. Archer's rating: 3 of 5.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7219cc) out of 5 stars A charming, didactic tale. May 21 2011
By Book Lover - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Noah Barleywater Runs Away" is a charming and didactic tale. The author deftly captures the thought processes of the 8 year old main character, allowing even an adult reader to experience the adventures described through younger eyes. The book deals with difficult subject matter, facing fears, death and dying among others, and accomplishes the delivery of its core messages without beating the reader over the head, but allowing the reader to come to the "right" conclusion on their own. I think that this book is great for all ages, though I imagine it would be a wonderful book to read along with a child as it will surely prompt discussion and the examination of some tough topics.

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