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Summary

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 discovery will shatter his world.

A powerful, gripping, and truly epic story that won the Costa Children's Book Award 2008.

©2008 Michelle Magorian (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

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

What listeners say about Just Henry

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Just Henry, Just Right.

I wasn't sure whether to buy this 'book'. I've read Goodnight Mister Tom, and was impressed, but the reviews for Just Henry criticised the book for being 200 pages too long. I also didn't really like the idea of dealing with war-time horrors (don't worry, there aren't any horror-genre related incidents etc), and of course, an audio book of this length would require some dedication.
Well. I loved it. I couldn't unplug the earphones. There are so many things about this book which are amazing. The main one for me is the fact that the book finished when it was ready to and not suddenly, leaving you wondering what happened next. The additional 200 pages were a rare luxury allowing the reader to feel able to say goodbye to the characters that had so imprinted themselves in mind and memory. Having been on a journey of growth, discovery, re-discovery, learning and on-the-side investigating with a group of admirable teenagers, you can't just be expected to ditch the characters because the page count has stacked up a bit.
Issues that this book deals with: dyslexia, prejudice, history of entertainment; altruism, coping with stress, gender issues and many more.
After listening to the book I felt compelled to check with family members of a 'certain age', whether attitudes expressed in the book really existed - and they did. It set off a whole talking point. They are now interested in listening, for nostalgia, so that they can relive all of the old movies that they saw each Saturday (movies are a neat anchor to the past in this book).
Whilst this may sound odd (considering the issues this book covers), its actually a feel good book. A "diamond in the dung heap" of real life.
My first encounter with this story has been the audio version. It was beautifully read. The narrator is so good with vocal characterisations, speed and nuance that the sound enhanced the story line.

9 people found this helpful

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Just loved it!

I came across this when browsing Audible and am so glad I bought it. It has much to offer both young and older readers and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant story, read beautifully

Just Henry is meant to be a book for young people but I have read it twice and listened to this several times despite being more than grown up! It’s an exciting story full of twists and turns, with lots of fascinating period detail. I have enjoyed it very much and would recommend it to anyone aged over 8.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 11-03-21

Loved it x loved it x loved it x

This is a keeper ... finally a book I can keep!!!

Homely: it’s like a comfort read but exciting at same time
Exciting: their are twists and surprises all the way through
Lovable character: he’s a gem ... a bit like my son
Reminiscent of the time: after the war things are scarce but appreciated
The ending: satisfying

I’ve been looking for an all rounder of a good interesting funny and serious clean book..... but have kept returning each book I have bought ..... I usually don’t have hrs to dedicate to a story so usually like shorter stories but was prepared to try this... was worried I forget who is who etc but it’s an easy leave and pick up where you left without getting lost ...

I like it straight away ... I like everyday situations with hidden twists in hidden corners ..
The 50s era I enjoy as it’s not too worldly but still relatable ..
If I explain the story it’s not going to encourage you to read it .... just know if u want the things described above then you will be glad you bought it !!!

I’m now going to look at authors other reads or ‘listen too’ in my case

Hope this helps you to decide ..and if you buy it... I hope you enjoy as much I have and will carry on enjoying as it’s layered!!

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Thoroughly enjoyed this Michelle Magorian novel

This book not in the same league as "Goodnight Mr Tom" ... and it is a slow read at the start.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, set just after WW2. The characterisation is superb, with an interesting plot, and a wonderful insight into 1950's Britain.

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  • Sa
  • 13-06-20

Amazing

Having already read this book, I can say that I love the storyline. This audiobook has fully done it justice. The voices were just how I imagined them. The last '200 hundred pages too many' are there so we can see how the lives of the characters that have been developed throughout the book turn out. It's truly an amazing book.

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  • Stephanie
  • 07-03-16

A compelling reading of an absorbing book

This audiobook made me look forward to return to it each night. I love an engrossing story filled with nuanced, complicated characters. The narrator is terrific. The voice he uses for the villainous grandmother made me want to punch her in the face. Well done!