The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket
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Release Date
August 02, 2012
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Barnaby Brocket is an ordinary 8-year-old boy in most ways, but he was born different in one important way: he floats. Unlike everyone else, Barnaby does not obey the law of gravity. His parents, who have a horror of being noticed, want desperately for Barnaby to be normal, but he can't help who he is. And when the unthinkable happens, Barnaby finds himself on a journey that takes him all over the world. From Brazil to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even to space, the floating boy meets all sorts of different people—and discovers who he really is along the way.

This whimsical novel will delight middle graders, and make readers of all ages question the meaning of normal.

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Allegorical tale of being different
(Updated: January 26, 2013)
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This book would be good for fans of Roald Dahl who enjoy reading about really horrible adults. Barnaby's parents prefer normality to dealing with their son, so Barnaby's mother sets him off on the wind without a pang of regret! This also struck me as a bit like The Little Prince. Barnaby is able to travel all around the world and meet people who have very large differences, but can still celebrate those differences. People with disabilities, people who have alternative lifestyles, people who do not necessarily embody the "normal" that Barnaby's parents crave are all depicted in sympathetic ways.
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