Review: ‘Stay Where You Are and Then Leave’ by John Boyne

I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Stay Where You Are and Then Leave’ by John BoyneStay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne
Published by Doubleday Canada on September 26th, 2013
Genres: Children, Historical, Middle Grade
Pages: 247
Format: Hardcover
Source: publisher unsolicited
The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield's father promised he wouldn't go away to fight - but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn't know where his father might be, other than that he's away on a special, secret mission.

Then, while shining shoes at King's Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father's name - on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by - a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place . . .

Chapters/IndigoThe Book DepositoryAmazon CanadaGood Reads



Alfie and his family live a pretty uneventful life. All he wants to do is ride the milk float with his father. Then his father does something that changes their life forever. He volunteers to be in the war.

This setting is probably what interested me in the most. If you know about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, you’ll know I pretty much cried when I saw the movie. So naturally I had to pick this one up. I liked reading about their daily lives. So simple, and so rewarding at the same time. Not a lot of problems until Alfie’s father goes off to war.


Alfie had to do something to help. He was determined to help his mom by keeping his job from her.I admired his courage and his determination for his secret mission to be achieved, helping his dad. Then the end result where it nearly traumatizes him. Then letters that his mother received, she hid them From Alfie. There were so many secrets. From both sides. And keeping secrets means they’re protecting one another, but yikes I wanted to just shake them.


A lot more happy things could have happened if they just told each other the truth. His friendship with his best friend was all and good, but there were no development there at all. I liked the little details like the stories that he would listen to while he would shine his customer’s shoes. Even having the Prime Minister there and not realizing it was him.


The writing is written in a no nonsense way. Very straight forward and told in a child’s voice, Stay Where You Are and Then Leave will have you hugging your family and telling them you love them so!


It has to end one day. Wars always do. The new ones can’t start of the old ones don’t end. (60)
It is far better to face the bullets than to be killed at home by a bomb. (78)

There are plenty of ways to help the war effort. I’m not sure that killing people is the most productive. (92)
Politics should be about doing thing, though, not just talking about doing things. (151)
What kind of fool wouldn’t be afraid, going over to some foreign country to dig out trenches and to kill as many strangers as you could before some stranger could kill you? (175)
Everything seems like an illusion to me. I did nothing wrong. And these people have destroyed me. (238)

reading progress





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: