Noah Barleywater Runs Away
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Eight-year-old Noah's problems seem easier to deal with if he doesn't think about them. So he runs away, taking an untrodden path through the forest.
Before long, he comes across a shop. But this is no ordinary shop: it's a toyshop, full of the most amazing toys, and brimming with the most wonderful magic. And here Noah meets a very unusual toymaker. The toymaker has a story to tell, and it's a story of adventure and wonder and broken promises. He takes Noah on a journey. A journey that will change his life.
in the basement where the light didn’t work because the latch had fallen on the lock – now that was just annoying. This was something else entirely. He felt as if he was supposed to be there but had better be ready for what came next. He turned round and glanced back towards the entrance of the shop but – and this was a great surprise – he couldn’t see the door any more. He must have wandered so far in that it was no longer visible. Only he couldn’t remember walking that far at all, and the shop
potatoes, prawns, cod, peas and all manner of squishy ingredients all over the floor. Noah jumped, expecting her to say that she was a terrible butterfingers, always dropping things, but instead she was leaning against the sideboard, one hand pressed to the small of her back, and was groaning quietly, a strange and disturbing sound, a heartbreaking cry that he had never heard her make before. Noah’s father immediately jumped up and ran to her, and Noah stepped forward too, but there was no way
said the old man, taking his own coat and scarf off the stand too. ‘Thank you, William,’ he said to the stand, who tipped his head where the hats rested and ran back to the corner of the toy shop. ‘A boy who has left home must keep on the move. He can never stop anywhere in case he’s found. Why, he might run the risk of making friends if he stayed in the same place for too long.’ ‘I’m sure I could stop somewhere,’ said Noah quickly. ‘They’ll give up looking for me eventually.’ ‘Oh, my dear
returned, well, it was too late for us. I wanted to see the world and was only interested in satisfying myself. I don’t think you want to see the world, do you?’ ‘I do,’ cried Noah enthusiastically. ‘Well, someday anyway,’ he added in a quieter voice. ‘And if you do, if you continue on your way, don’t you think the day will come when you will be filled with as many regrets as I am?’ Noah nodded. The truth was, he was starting to long for his own home and his own bed. And even though he didn’t
the chimney that stretched upwards from the kitchen fireplace and thought of his family inside, all safely tucked up in their beds, unaware that he was leaving them for ever. And despite himself, he felt a little sad. Am I doing the right thing? he wondered, a great blanket of happy memories trying to break through and smother the fresher, sadder ones. But he had no choice. He couldn’t bear to stay any longer. No one could blame him for that, surely. Anyway, it was probably best that he went