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Just Henry (Costa Book Award - Children's Book Award)

Just Henry (Costa Book Award - Children's Book Award) [Kindle Edition]

Michelle Magorian
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"'The author has a wonderful gift for hanging a richly woven tapestry around an essentially simple frame.' Times Education Supplement."

Product Description

The stunning post-war tale from Michelle Magorian, author of Goodnight, Mr Tom.

The second world war has ended, but Henry is fighting his own battles . . .

He misses his father who died a war hero, and his only distraction is the cinema. But everything is about to change. When Henry develops an old camera film he uncovers a mystery and events spiral until his life resembles the drama of the big screen. Like a bomb waiting to explode, Henry’s world is about to unravel . . .

Michelle Magorian’s first book, Goodnight Mister Tom, has sold in excess of 1.2 million copies, won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award, and been adapted into an BAFTA award-winning TV film by ITV. Her post war story,Just Henry, has been released as a widely acclaimed ITV drama, showing Michelle Magorian to be a master storyteller for a broad audience.

Praise for Just Henry:

‘Only the greatest authors of children’s fiction share this ability to touch the heart’ – The Times

‘This rich, absorbing novel . . . will appeal to old fans and new alike’ – Guardian Education

Winner of the Children’s Book category – Costa Book Awards

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 664 KB
  • Print Length: 703 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1405227575
  • Publisher: Egmont (1 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003B0W1ZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,800 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michelle was born in 1947 in Portsmouth, Hampshire of a Welsh mother and Irish father with an Armenian Surname! Michelle Spent her toddler years in Singapore and two-and-a-half years (aged 7-9) in Australia. In between times, up to the age of eighteen, she lived in Portsmouth.

She was educated at Kilbreda college, Mentone (Victoria, Australia) and the Covent of the Cross, Waterlooville, Hampshire.

Michelle trained for the theatre at The Rose Bruford College of speech and drama in Kent from 1968to 1969. It was while there that she started writing regulary.

From 1969-1970 she was a mime student at Marcel Marceau's L'Ecole International de Mime in Paris. Since then Michelle has worked in theatre, television and films and has an established reputation as a comedienne, performing in plays and musicals. Michelle also toured with her one woman mime show in Italy and England.

Michelle's first novel Goodnight Mister Tom grew out of two short stories. She wrote the book in between acting jobs and on Sunday when she was working in the theatre. Goodnight Mister Tom was first published in the UK in 1981 it has won numerous awards including the Guardian Children's Fiction Award (for full list of awards please see Bibliography). The book has sold in excess of 1.2 MILLION copies in the UK alone and has been published in Denmark, USA, Japan, Holland, Sweden, Finland, France and Germany. The 1998 BAFTA award-winning TV film of the book starring John Thaw attracted 14 MILLION viewers.

Just Henry is Michelle's first novel in over 10 years. In this gripping mystery-thriller, the story of a boy struggling to understand his identity, is beautifully woven with a vivid picture of the social prejudices, culture and atmosphere of late 1940s Britain.
Since publishing in May 2008 it has won the Children's Book category for the Costa Book Award, shortlisted for the Lancashire Children's book award, shortlisted for the Essex Children's Book award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too short at 700 pages 11 May 2008
The book is set in late 1949 (ah! I remember it well)and fourteen year old Henry lives with his mother, stepfather, little sister and his Gran. Henry knows his father died a hero and, in his eyes, 'Uncle Bill' does not match up and Gran agrees. There is conflict enough at home without the new teacher taking against him. Especially as he acts so friendly to the two boys that nobody wants to know. However, slowly Henry's eyes are opened to truth after truth till a photo that he has taken turns his world upside down.

This was one of the most gripping and enjoyable books for youngsters that I have read. To write a 700 page book for children is challenge enough. To succeed in making every one of those pages captivating is a tremendous achievement. The author populates her book with distinct and clearly defined characters which young readers will come to regard as friends - but, of course, not everyone can be depended on.

It is the gradual resolution of one mystery after another that involves both Henry and the reader in this terrific tale. The plot moves from one puzzle to the next with obvious care and simplicity so that, despite its length, the story is over all too soon.

For the younger reader, there is much social history on subtle display. How attitude have changed to divorce and unmarried mums! For the reader who remembers 1949, it is a luxurious wallow in forgotten memories such as Saturday morning picture shows, the launch of The Eagle comic and some marvelous black and white movies. For all, it is a heart warming, engrossing read.

It is ten years since the last book by Michelle Magorian. This superb book justifies the wait.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Magorian 1 Feb 2009
Being a big fan of Goodnight Mr. Tom, I was interested to read Michelle Magorian's latest book. Henry is a boy fascinated by the cinema, who goes mostly to escape the absence of his war hero father. He's disgusted to be paired with the son of a deserter and an illegitimate child when he's given a school project on the cinema, but once he breaks free from the narrow-minded influence of his tyrannical granny, it turns out nothing is as it seems. It's over 700 pages long, but it flows brilliantly and it's a real page turner. I got this book for my nana, who was a kid at the same time as Henry, and she enjoyed it just as much as I did. Gripping and charming in equal quantities, and a must-read for fans of Magorian.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Henry - Just Fantastic 19 Feb 2010
A Kid's Review
I was eyeing Just Henry suspiciously, I had loved the weighty Harry Potter books, but would this be as good? Well, I decided to have a go as Goodnight Mister Tom was fantastic, and Just Henry was (if possible) even better!
Henry lives just after the second world war with his Mother, Uncle Bill - his boring and mean old Stepfather, his little half-sister Molly and lovely, adorable Gran. Henry has dreamed of his real father, who died a hero by saving someone's life and thinks that Uncle Bill is boring.
In class everyone had to write down what they would like to be when they were older. Henry who spends almost all of his free time at the cinema decides to be a projectionist, but is then in a group with two family enemies - Pip and Jeffries.
As Henry starts working with them, his life starts changing and then with the help of Mrs Beaumont's camera, Henry unravels an unknown secret about Gran and eventually his Dad...
Is his Dad who he thinks he has?
Is Uncle Bill as boring as Henry makes out?
Is Gran really as kind as she makes out?
All these questions will slowly unravel in the book...

I found this book utterly brilliant. There was nothing to improve on it.
I would recommend it for a boy or girl, ages 10+.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a moving tale for children and adults alike 7 Jan 2012
By Steven TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
having first read Good Night MR Tom some years ago at school and regularly revisiting it as an adult, I was curious to read another book by Michelle Magorian.

Just Henry is set over a a post war period taking in late 1949 to the middle of 1950. This was a time where rationing was still in place and towns still bore the marks of the German bombing. over 700 plus pages, we follow Henry, a 14 year old when the story begins who lives with his Mum, Stepfather, baby sister and narrow-minded bigoted gran (mother of Henry's father killed in the war).

due to the unhealthy influence of his gran, Henry shares many of her prejudices and, is therefore outraged when the new teacher puts him in a group with Jeffries, the son of a deserter and Pip, an illegitimate boy.
as a result of working with these 2 boys and the other friendships he develops with the kindly MRS Beaumont, Henry starts to confront his prejudices and see things and people for what they really are. his world is turned up-side-down when he develops an old camera film and he is forced to understand that not everything in his life is as it seems.

this book works on so many levels. its a wonderful social history of what life was like at the time, a time when Britain was recovering from the war. the cinema plays a pivotal role in the story, and it is the shared love of films which first unites Henry and his friends. its fascinating to see how popular the pictures were in those days and Magorian does a wonderful job in bringing the `picture palaces' to life for the reader.

the book is also a great mystery story as Henry gradually discovers many truths through the book with the help of his friends and is forced to re-evaluate his relationships with his family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book!
Michelle Magorian is my favourite author and gave me a love of reading when I as around 17 and received Goodnight Mr Tom as a gift. I then went on to read all her other books! Read more
Published 3 months ago by sefmoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Henry by Michelle Magorian
Why did I choose this book? I chose to read this book as I have read many books by this author, She never fails to write a good story, and this book no exception. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Rosemary Evangelisti
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Watched a couple of minutes of the TV version at Christmas and thought I would get the book instead of watching it on I player. Good choice, the book is brilliant. Read more
Published 6 months ago by addison
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down!!
This book is very well written and plenty of surprises but it really only seemed to get interesting in the middle o the book
Published 11 months ago by Niamh McElroy
3.0 out of 5 stars 700 short pages
Don't assume you're getting extra for your money. You'll find the percentage shooting up as you read this book, this may officially be 700 pages but clearly these pages were writ... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Nicola
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hard LIfe, But A Good One
An excellent, meaty story that hits all the right buttons. With a detailed late 40s setting and the kind of plot that works like a detective story mixed with a family saga, this... Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. J. Saxton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Set in the late 1940's early 1950's, story revolves around children in their last years at school, bigotry, changing mindsets, with the help of adults. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Cliff Gorton
5.0 out of 5 stars another great book from a greatauthor
Just Henry is a great book that draws the reader from the start. It is evocative of a time gone by. The author creates believable likeable characters and ones we feel justified in... Read more
Published 17 months ago by K. Langtree
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read.
I borrowed this book from the library in the pre-Kindle days and really enjoyed it, as I have other books by Michelle Magorian. Read more
Published 18 months ago by colrac
5.0 out of 5 stars read!!
this book is amazing! i coldnt put it down. best book i have read in a while strongly recommend reading. very worth the read.
Published 22 months ago by boogie man
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