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review 2015-08-24 13:25
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave; a thoughtful introduction to WW1
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave - John Boyne

John Boyne’s book, Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is not meant for adults – it’s a little too simplistic – but it’s a really thoughtful introduction for a younger YA audience to World War 1. It follows little Alfie (aged 5) and how he deals with his Dad’s departure to fight on the first day of World War 1 and his realisation four years later that his Dad has actually been injured and is very sick. Boyne wrote The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas about the friendship between two boys at a concentration camp (one the son of a Nazi officer and the other an inmate) and he shows the same thoughtfulness with difficult issues in this book. I was tearful within ten minutes of picking it up; it definitely pulls at you a little but in a gentle, inoffensive way. Definitely one to be re-read with my daughter in a couple of years time.

Source: ellenallen.co/2015/08/24/stay-where-you-are-and-then-leave-a-thoughtful-intro-to-ww1
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review 2014-04-06 02:19
Stay Where You Are & then Leave comes close but misses the mark
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave - John Boyne,Oliver Jeffers

I am a steadfast fan of author John Boyne (best known for his novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas). He has a knack for capturing the unique voice of young boys who usually serve as his protagonists in his historical novels that are teaming with social issues of the day. Stay Where You Are & then Leave is the story of Alfie who is a mere five years old in 1914 when his father goes off to serve in the Great War....the war everyone said would be over by Christmas. As Alfie later notes, no one said which Christmas. Four years later, Alfie is still waiting for his father to come home. 

Boyne does a fine job recreating the various hardships created by the war and weaving them into a readable tale for Middle Readers and Young Adults. Not only does he depict the deprivations of civilian life in London, but he also focuses on the war's conscientious objectors, the questionable results of unwavering patriotism, and the rampant discrimination and violence perpetuated on anyone of Continental European descent. But at the heart of the story is Alfie's father and the medical phenomenon that was so rampant and misunderstood throughout this horrible war: shell shock.

As the medical community tried to grapple with this mental condition they knew little about and even less how to treat, they collided with politicians and a general public who refused to acknowledge a condition that had no physical manifestation. The results were disastrous and heartbreaking. Boyne does his best to present this without whitewash but still through the eyes of a ten year old boy - a difficult task at best.


Ultimately, he does a good job, although the novel feels like he is continually holding back. Alfie is a well-rounded character, but he is the only one who is. His parents -especially his father - feel a bit two-dimensional. If his father were a bit more fleshed-out, there might have been more of a connection there, creating a more emotional bond for the reader. As a result the book is a good book versus a great book. Still in all, it is a good read, like all of his books, and I always recommend them.

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text 2014-03-30 04:51
New Book Releases To Check Out
The House at the End of Hope Street - Menna van Praag
The Cruelty - S. Bergstrom
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave - John Boyne,Oliver Jeffers
Byrd - Kim Church
Every Day Is for the Thief: Fiction - Teju Cole
Riding a Crocodile - Paul A Komesaroff
  • The House at the End of Hope Street: A Novel by Menna van Praag (March 25, 2014 by Penguin Books [Goodreads]
  • The Cruelty by S. Bergstrom (March 15, 2014 by JKSCommunications) [Goodreads]
  • Stay Where You Are And Then Leave by John Boyne (March 25, 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)) [Goodreads]
  • Byrd by Kim Church (March 18, 2014 by Dzanc Books) [Goodreads]
  • Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole (March 25, 2014 by Random House) [Goodreads]
  • Riding a Crocodile by Paul A Komesaroff (March 11, 2014 by River Grove Books) [Goodreads]
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review 2014-03-07 18:34
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave - John Boyne,Oliver Jeffers

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


I was very excited to read this book as I'm a great fan of John Boyne's books! I just loved the title, and had high expectations for the rest of the novel.


It didn't disappoint! The story centres around Alfie during the First World War in London. One day when shoeshining near Kings Cross, he finds out his father is not on some kind of secret mission in France, but in a hospital.


This is said to be a novel for younger readers, and indeed Alfie is just nine years old. It reads a bit like The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, but Alfie is less naive. But it is, in my humble opinion, very good readable for older readers.The story tells about the people who don't go off to war but stay behind. The story is touching, and on the other hand it also shows some more troublesome parts from the First World War, like the deportation of 'Germans' to the Isle of Man, (abuse of) conchies and the (partial) denial of Shellshock syndrome.


What I also really liked, - I've mentioned it before in my other reviews of his books - is the references John Boyne puts in it to his other books.In this book The Absolutionist is referenced, another wonderful novel about the First World War... (Spoilers for The Absolutionist)

In one of his letters home Georgie tells about a German boy being shot after he already surrendered, one of the main events in The Absolutionist. It's a subtle reference, (as you won't have a clue if you haven't read the book), but you'll definitely get it if you read the book...

(spoiler show)

With the First World War turning 100 years this year, I think this is a wonderful book on a not so often featured part of war: the people who stay behind, (they may not have to fight with guns, but they have their own war to fight).


I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!


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text 2014-02-27 15:44
Very Excited!
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave - John Boyne,Oliver Jeffers

I'm very excited!


I just got approved for Stay where you are and then leave , the newest book by John Boyne (who's one of my favourite authors!), on Netgalley!


I've read almost every book by John Boyne (the latest I've read being Crippen; still need to read The terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket and This house is haunted) and I always enjoy his stories and writing!


I'm really looking forward to read it!

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