The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket (group set, 7 books)

£44 Save £11.93

Alistair and Eleanor Brocket pride themselves on being perfectly normal. They have normal jobs, a normal house, and turn their noses up at anything remotely strange of out of the ordinary. Even their children, Henry and Melanie are normal until their third child, Barnaby Brocket is born and proves to have with a unique and unusual gift.

  • free discussion guide available on this website
  • themes: identity, belonging, difference, adventure, exploration, journey
  • black and white line illustrations
  • Longer novel, so requires sustained reading. Best read as a class novel with selectedpassages used for closer reading in small groups.
  • 304 pages

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The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket discussion guide


There’s nothing unusual about the Brockets. Boring, respectable and fiercely proud of it, Alistair and Eleanor Brocket turn up their noses at anyone strange or different. But from the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it’s clear he’s anything but normal. To the horror and shame of his parents, Barnaby appears to defy the laws of gravity – and floats.

Little Barnaby is a lonely child – after all, it’s hard to make friends when you’re ten feet in the air. Desperate to please his parents, he does his best to stop floating, but he just can’t do it. Then, one fateful day, Barnaby’s mother decides enough is enough. She never asked for a weird, abnormal, floating child. She’s sick and tired of the newspapers prying and the neighbours gossiping. Barnaby has to go . . .Betrayed, frightened and alone, Barnaby floats into the path of a very special hot air balloon. And so begins a magical journey around the world; from South America to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even a trip into space, Barnaby meets a cast of truly extraordinary new friends and realises that nothing can make you happier than just being yourself. 

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