Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 7n/a5.355693
From the author of the phenomenally bestselling The Boy in the Striped Pajamas comes an unforgettable story of a boy's life changed by war, published to coincide with World War One's centenary.
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...

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published on March 25, 2014 by Doubleday Canada
ISBN-10: 0385681399
ISBN-13: 9780385681391
13 Book Reviews
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  • fefe291
    fefe291Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 6:26 am
    looks so cool
    • candyexpress
      candyexpressSunday, May 24, 2015 at 8:26 am
      This book was so touching! I loved it. Historical fiction books aren't usually my favorite, but this one was just wonderful! This book is set during World War I. Alfie Summerfield's dad has left to fight even though he promised he wouldn't. Four years continue and Alfie never sees his father. Mom always away busy at work, Alfie shines shoes at a train station to earn some money to help out. Unexpectedly one day he is shining the shoes of a military doctor, he spots his father's name on one of the pages of the doctor's pile. This leads to the adventure of Alfie's lifetime.
      • skomplin
        skomplinWednesday, September 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm
        I would love to read this book.It looks fastenating to read
        • sshans2
          sshans2Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 7:57 pm22 starsFeatured
          The beauty of Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is that it shows life before World War I, during it, and after it, all from the eyes of a child. Alfie Summerfield is five years old when his father, Georgie, proudly volunteers to join the British army and fight in World War I. Four years later, Alfie and his mother are almost penniless, and can hardly go to sleep every night, terrified of seeing Georgie's military number on 'the list' in the morning paper. When Alfie realizes that his father hasn't been sending letters anymore, his mother tells him he's on a secret mission...but he soon learns the truth. His father is in a hospital nearby with shell shock-- and Alfie will stop at nothing to bring him back home...What amazes me most in SWYA&TL, is how exquisitely John Boyne weaved the theme of love into his novel. I also admire how extraordinarily Boyne was able to write from a nine year-old's perspective: I really felt like I was in a nine-year-old's mind while reading this. One thing I did realize though, was that there were too many coincidences (Alfie finding about about his father’s condition, Marian being there to lead him to the hospital…) not making it realistic enough. I also felt that it dragged on in the beginning-- so I guess you just have to have the right taste for this book: it isn't one of my favorites. In contrast to the language of this read, the themes, symbolism, and foreshadowing are admirably advanced, so this is fit for anyone 11 and older.
          • funreader1432
            funreader1432Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm
            It is off to a slow start I recommend it for 14 and up, but it is more sad and longing then happy or joyful.
            • rainbeaux
              rainbeauxTuesday, May 6, 2014 at 8:35 am44 stars
              I liked this book and loved the main character, Alfie. While I thought he was a bit thick headed at times, his heart was in the right place. This book was a bit slow for my taste but I think it was a great read. I would recommend this book for any one liking historical fiction. It's also a great excuse to say you're studying social studies!
              • lollipop8
                lollipop8Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 9:26 am44 starsFeatured
                I thought this was a really great book, and I loved how it was written during WW1, because I can't find many books to read about that. Alfie Summerfield's dad joined up the first day the army started recruiting troops and Alfie hasn't seen him in four years. With the help of some "friends" in a London subway station (and a shoeshine box) Alfie discovers where his dad is. This starts a daring mission to rescue him. If you like historical fiction stories with a lot of family action, this would be a really great book for you to read.
                • mbarrager
                  Ms. BarragerWednesday, April 30, 2014 at 8:20 am55 starsFeatured
                  Very few books cross that bridge from "kids will love it" to "adults will think more deeply because of it;" this is one that does! John Boyne writes likes a friendly and knowledgeable guide through a difficult landscape of war and loss. I loved the perspective of the boy waiting for his father in war time, unhappy with being told his father is gone. How many young people wish that they could enter the adult world to find answers; this hero does! If you liked the Book Thief, you will love this!
                  • borntoswim
                    borntoswimSunday, April 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm55 starsFeatured
                    I liked this book a lot. I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by the same author and loved it!!! I can't decide which is better but if you haven't read either you definitely should. I usually don't like historical fiction but this book was a mystery at the same time. It is based in the time period of the first World War, in London. Alfie Summerfield in eight when the war breaks out and only understands that his father is leaving them to go fight. At first his father writes, but as the war rages his letters stop coming. The war was supposed to end by Christmas but it has been going on for over a year. His mother claims his father in on a secret mission and can't write but Alfie is old enough to know something it wrong. Not only does he have to worry about his dad, but now the bills are piling up and Alfie's lonely mother can barely keep up. Alfie secretly skips school and shines shoes at the train station everyday to make money for his family. The book is about Alfie finding out where his father is and trying to rescue him. Alfie may be young, but nothing is going to stop him from getting his dad back.
                    • xxunknownxx
                      xxunknownxxThursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:18 am55 stars
                      its a sad book