Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Noah Barleywater Runs Away- A New Children's Classic has been born

I remember when Boy in the Striped Pajamas was released. It promised to be something different than most books we've read before. It was a beautiful allegory, and I instantly fell in love with the book. When I saw that John Boyne had a new book out, I couldn't wait to read it, and he does not disappoint!

Noah Barleywater is an eight-year-old boy whom we meet preparing to run away from home in search of an adventure. This of course is only one of his motivations. There is something troubling him at home that he doesn't want to face, and he has decided that the best thing to do is to run away. On his journey he meets a talking Daschund and a rather hungry donkey, who guide him to an odd looking cottage that is also a toy shop. This toy shop isn't just a toy shop. It's a magical place full of wooden toys and puppets, and the whole store is alive. The toymaker, (whom readers will later recognize as a beloved fairy tale character) shares the stories of his wonderous adventures, changing Noah's life forever.

Subtitled a "fairy tale", that's exactly what this book is, and it begs to be read aloud. The language is whimsical and clever, and the best way to describe this story is magical. From the very beginning I was hooked, and I just can't express how special it really is. There are important lessons to be learned here. Lessons about being honest with children, keeping promises, and facing the things we're most afraid of.

Once in a while, and ever so rarely a book comes along that truly has the makings of a classic, and this is one of those gems. Like Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz, this is an unforgettable story that will charm children for generations.