Praise for Barney and Mr. Thomas
I liked it and it’s one of my favorite sci-fi adventure books. As a teacher and a parent it is abundantly clear that most mainstream children’s literature does not include a diverse cast of characters to reflect the diverse audience of children consuming said lit.
I love this book for a couple of reasons, first and foremost because it fills that void. I also love that the book touches upon the main character Barney Gile turns into an alligator creature when he’s upset. The hardest part of this is keeping it secret, but that doesn’t define the boy–this makes him easily identifiable to all and points out the essential lesson that while we are all unique, and we all have our own challenges in life.
It is so heartwarming to see a book that sends a great message. Children with issues and challenges do not often get to see themselves represented as the main characters or heroes in books. This book doesn’t focus on the difficulties. Instead, it shines a positive light on everything that the main character, Barney Gile, CAN do. Seeing Barney Gile and Mr. Thomas have so many adventures without feeling limited inspires so much hope. This is a perfect book for any little boy or girl, regardless of their situation. All children need to see that Barney Gile is just as adventurous and amazing as everyone else. Bravo!
John Kerry (Goodreads user)
Blurb for Barney and Mr. Thomas
Eleven year old Barney Gile turns into an alligator creature when he’s upset. The hardest part of this is keeping it secret. Luckily, the inventor he lives with, Mr. Thomas, can help him. Barney also has another issue. He wants to get closer to Mr. Thomas, but the inventor calls being close to anyone dangerous. Barney never knew why this was until a gun-and-science loving couple starts hunting them down.
Together, Barney and Mr. Thomas go on all sorts of adventures, each one a separate story. Sometimes they’re battling the crazy couple and other times they’re going to strange places like inside a video game or the Mirror World. They’re also meeting people like a clone who thinks he’s a goat or a brave girl who might have a crush on Barney.
As they go on more and more adventures, Barney realizes Mr. Thomas is the closest thing he’s ever had to a friend. Maybe he’s even the father Barney never had, but does Mr. Thomas feel the same way?
Blurb for Barney, Mr. Thomas, and the Alligator Creature
Eleven-year-old Barney Gile turns into an uncontrollable alligator creature whenever he gets too upset. Ever since he was rescued from a swamp by Mr. Thomas, a kind inventor who fears love, Barney has been happy. Happy joining Mr. Thomas on crazy adventures to different worlds and making strange machines. Barney has never seen a reason to remember his past. Until he finds out the horrible truth.
Barney and Mr. Thomas meet the couple who created Barney, and he isn’t their only project. Amber and Ivan are sweet talkers, able to convince the other hybrid children into believing they belong to them. Barney worries they might even entrance him to live with them.
With the help of a rat who is turning into a boy and inventions like a mind-jumper, Barney and Mr. Thomas are going on adventures while figuring out how to free the rest of the hybrids. But it seems like the hybrid children don’t want to be saved. They are content with their lives lacking real families. How is Barney supposed to convince them Amber and Ivan are the unloving ones when the couple is constantly reminding Barney that Mr. Thomas is scared to love?