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Alfie was five years old in 1914, when his dad joined the British Army and left for France. In 1919, Alfie and his mother, who works in a London hospital, are barely making ends meet. Though she claims that his father is on a "secret mission" for the government, Alfie fears that he's dead. Discovering by chance that he's in a hospital, the boy secretly visits his father, who is shell-shocked and mentally unstable. Alfie carries out a plan to bring Dad home, whatever the consequences. Boyne has an eye for period details, an ear for dialogue, and a knack for creating individual, consistent characters. However, the fact that they're mainly adult characters may limit the book's appeal to children. A further barrier is that many of the British historical and cultural references will be unfamiliar to American kids. Still, this involving narrative will find readers, probably among those who enjoyed Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2006). Illustrations not seen. Grades 5-7. --Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, a warm and moving story of a boy's search for his missing father during the First World War.
John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of nine novels for adults and four for younger readers, including the international bestsellers The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which has sold more than six million copies worldwide, The Absolutist and, most recently, Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. His novels are published in over forty-five languages. He is married and lives in Dublin. www.johnboyne.com @john_boyne
"Pat Barker meets Michelle Magorian . . . Comic as well as poignantly enlightening" * Independent on Sunday * "John Boyne's children's novels tackle difficult subjects . . . and this latest book looks at the horrors of trench warfare in World War 1. With the anniversary of that war next year, this is a timely examination of moral, physical and mental bravery and pain" * Daily Mail * "Beautifully paced and affecting" * The Bookseller * "Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is beautifully written, as are all John Boyne's books for children. Although it's a book aimed primarily at younger readers, it's equally as satisfying for adults, and should be widely read by everyone" * Wondrous Reads * "A beautifully paced and affecting tale" * Independent on Sunday *