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Noah Barleywater Runs Away

Best Seller
Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne
Paperback $7.99
Jul 10, 2012 | ISBN 9780385752640
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  • Jul 10, 2012 | ISBN 9780385752640 | Middle Grade (8-12)

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    *This format is not eligible to earn points towards the Reader Rewards program
  • May 10, 2011 | ISBN 9780375899348 | Middle Grade (8-12)

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  • May 10, 2011 | ISBN 9780307916495 | Middle Grade (8-12)

    302 Minutes

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“Timeless and imaginative. I don’t know how Boyne does it but his story is incredibly resonant.”
—The Irish Times
“Highly amusing, refreshingly original and extremely moving… written with such an assurance and lightness of touch… infused with such truths as to leave one with very real tears in the eyes.”
The Guardian (UK)
“A celebration of the consolations of storytelling. Spellbinding stuff.”
The Financial Times

“In this charming and cleverly plotted story that tiptoes with humor and compassion, two characters teach each other how to grieve, how to forgive, and how, eventually, to remember what has been lost.”
The New York Times Book Review

Author Q&A

1. How would you summarize your new book in one sentence?
A boy runs away from home, thinking that all his problems will be solved if he doesn’t have to face up to them; he’s wrong.

2. How long did it take you to write this book?
A year and a half.

3. How did you choose your characters’ names?
I’ve always liked the name Noah; Noah led me to ‘water’ (as in Noah’s ark) and I added the Barley; water runs away.

4. How many drafts did you go through?

5. Who was the first person to read your manuscript?
My agent, Simon Trewin.

6. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?
Anthony Hopkins as the old man, an unknown as the boy.

7. What’s your favourite city in the world?
Outside of Dublin, which is home, I’d say Sydney, Australia.

8. Did you always want to be a writer?

9. What was your very first story about? When did you write it?
It was a Secret Seven story and I wrote it when I was about nine.

10. What was your favourite book as a kid?
CS Lewis’ Narnia books.

11. If you could be any character from any book, who would you be?
Homer Wells in The Cider House Rules.

12. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
LP Hartley’s The Go-Between.

13. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
Philip Roth. Will you be my friend please?

14. How do you organize your library?
Geographically – I have an Irish section, a British section, a US/Canada section, Australia, Translations and Rest of World. Then alphabetically within that by author. I used to work in a bookshop, which might explain all that.

15. What’s on your nightstand right now?
A proof copy of Sebastian Barry’s new novel On Canaan’s Side.

16. Where is your favorite place to write?
My office at home, overlooking the garden.

17. Do you have any writing rituals?
Yes, I concentrate.

18. When do you write best, morning or night?

19. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?
Encouragement. And a decent sized advance.

20. What is the best advice someone could give a writer?

There’s such a thing as a ‘learner’ novel at the start of a career, a novel that you’ve spent a couple of years writing but that isn’t good enough for publication. But everything you’ve learned from writing it will lead to a novel that is. So put it aside and start the next one.

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