Finn's Going by Tom Kelly, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Finn's Going

Finn's Going

2.5 2
by Tom Kelly

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Take Finn. He may be the burping champion of the universe. He may be the demon farter of the planet—capable of mind-boggling impressions (a hissing cat, a creaking door in a haunted house, a boiling egg).Or not.

Take Danny. He may be the burping champion of the universe. He may be the demon farter of the planet—capable of


Take Finn. He may be the burping champion of the universe. He may be the demon farter of the planet—capable of mind-boggling impressions (a hissing cat, a creaking door in a haunted house, a boiling egg).Or not.

Take Danny. He may be the burping champion of the universe. He may be the demon farter of the planet—capable of mind-boggling impressions (a hissing cat, a creaking door in a haunted house, a boiling egg). Or not.

Danny and Finn. Identical twins. Best friends. Big brothers to Angela. Playing with Donut the dog. Sons of Mum and Dad. Living together in a house on Holt Street. Happy.

All of that is about to change.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ten-year-old Danny narrates this puzzling story about a family thrown into emotional turmoil by the sudden death of a child-Danny's identical twin, Finn. Danny's first method of coping is to cease talking altogether ("I thought if they couldn't tell who I was, they couldn't tell who was lost either"). He then skips school and boards a train to run away, certain that every time his grieving parents look at him, they are reminded of his brother's death. Despite the poignancy of this premise, the story fails to convince, and the slow, random musings of the first 100 pages may make this a non-starter for youngsters. The narrator's voice comes across both too wise ("The only thing I know for sure is if [God] is sitting up in heaven or wherever and just watching then he needs a thump. Sitting and watching it happen and not doing anything about it is almost exactly as bad as making it happen in the first place") and overly juvenile. The humor is scatological-scary things are called PBTMs ("Potential Brown Trouser Moments") and much is made of the pleasures of "weeing" into the sea. Kelly, a playwright, keeps the pages turning by stingily parsing out the details of the accident that led to the boy's death. A surprise ending leaves it unclear which twin has in fact died and ultimately feels manipulative. Ages 10-14. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Monserrat Urena
Danny and Finn are identical twins. One brother is dead. The other is alive and is the narrator of this novel. He is trying to keep the memory of his lost brother alive. Riddled by guilt, anger, and confusion the young narrator runs away from home. It is on this journey that he comes to terms with his grief and the continuation of a life without his other half. The novel's ending will surprise readers. Kelly's protagonist embodies the true emotional depth that exists in youth. His emotional journey does not apologize for its existence. It is something that has to be done in order for the protagonist to move on. The pain embodied in every action rings true regardless of age. This is a beautifully rendered work of fiction that despite its emotional subject matter retains a sense of humor that proves to be indispensable. This book is highly recommended.
VOYA - Haley Benisch
I have never read a book like this! I really enjoyed the unique writing style. Danny is running away from the fact that someone very important in his life has died, and he meets some very interesting people. The characters are likeable because they are everyday people. This book held my interest because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I am happy to recommend this book to other teens.
VOYA - Angie Hammond
In this well crafted novel, readers shadow a ten-year-old boy coming to terms with the death of his identical twin brother. As the story unfolds, they learn that Danny was present at his brother's drowning and feels responsible for it. He has not spoken in the six weeks since the accident, leaving the family unsure of which brother to mourn. When home life becomes unbearable, Danny leaves to find his way to accept the loss. In his travels, he meets several people who help him to understand himself and the world just a little better. A crazy lady in the park makes him realize that although one cannot run away from things, sometimes the going leads to places that one may unwittingly need to go. A germ-obsessed mother with a freaky son leads him to decide that one cannot be afraid of everything and still live a life worth living. Finally the painter he finds at his last stop helps him to understand that grief just is, and there simply is not anything one can do about it. Although the subject matter is quite heavy, the lighthearted phrasing and conversational writing style lifts any gloom that might be hovering around the edges of this story. It is in turn heartening, thought provoking, humorous, and sad. The characters are all familiar and comfortable. Kelly handles the entire story with great care, acknowledging the impossibility of the situation and cleanly guiding the reader through it. It would be a great book for anyone who has suffered a loss, but just as important for those who have yet to deal with it. Kelly's novel is highly recommended for school and public libraries.
KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Danny and Finn are identical twins, but one night there is a horrible accident and one of the boys dies, leaving the other to reconcile himself to a life without his twin. Of course this is not easy when everything he does reminds him of the brother he has lost—including his own face. The ten-year-old narrator decides that he has to come to terms with his loss and decides to go to the last place where the family had spent a happy summer vacation. On the journey we learn bits and pieces of the lives of the two boys, what they thought was funny, what they did to tease people, how they were treated in school. The summer vacation had been spent on the beach on a small island and the narrator arrives in the midst of a horrific storm that leaves him cold and wet in a boathouse. But along with the calm after the storm, there is also a plate of food and some dry clothes. Although it is not summer, the narrator is not on the island alone. The other inhabitant is also someone with a sad story of love and loss. Nulty is an artist, working on a huge mural as a means of grieving for his wife and son. The two understand each other and Nulty empathizes when the narrator finally tells the story of what happened to his brother. The novel is alternately funny and sad. Set in Great Britain, the vocabulary is British, but the humor is definitely young adolescent. The conclusion is a twist young readers will not see coming.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
After the death of his identical twin brother, 10-year-old Danny runs away because he believes he reminds his distraught parents of the tragedy. The book is divided into three parts: "Thinking," "Doing," and "Being," with each one reflecting a different stage of grief. "Thinking" details Danny's tumultuous feelings as he leaves his house, makes his way to the train station, and travels to an island where the family once vacationed. In "Doing," he becomes consumed with the act of stacking discarded bricks on the beach and befriends a man who suffered a similar loss. Finally, in "Being," the boy stops blaming himself for his brother's death and returns home. The full story of Finn's death is not revealed until the end, but hints dropped along the way pique readers' curiosity. The protagonist's voice is authentically childlike, as seen in the amusing vignettes of his family history, but also descriptive, using frequent metaphors to convey his unique point of view. Despite his running away, Danny's love for his family is tangible, making his full-circle journey and ultimate reunion all the more poignant.
—Emily RodriguezCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
What's the right audience for a story about a ten-year-old boy struggling to cope with the death of his identical twin? Obviously that depends on the presentation. But despite Kelly's obvious skill, it remains unclear just who might enjoy and appreciate this long first-person narrative. Readers know from the beginning that one of the boys has died. The surviving twin runs away from home to visit an island where the family once vacationed and along the way meets a handful of quirky characters. His ruminations use quite a bit of British slang that will slow some readers down. Others may find the elliptically told tale difficult to follow. And for some, the emphasis on flatulence and elimination, realistic though it may be, may seem too much at odds with the serious subject matter. While the revelation on the final page will certainly surprise, readers may feel more resentment at being tricked than recognition of the emotional toll that loss can take. Original and ambitious but not entirely successful. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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File size:
833 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Finn's Going

Chapter One

A brick with three holes in it (part one)

I didn't want to put a brick with three holes in it through Old Grundy's window. But I just couldn't think of any other way to get at that stupid stuffed otter of his.

I dug the brick out of the rockery in our back garden. That was on Saturday, the day after I started speaking again, when I finally told them my name. I hadn't said a thing for six weeks. Don't ask me why because I'm not really sure myself yet.

The rockery is my mum's idea of a joke. It's really a pile of rubble left over from the new shed. My dad reclaimed the bricks from a building site because reclaimed bricks are more environmentally friendly. Obviously not all three-holed bricks are reclaimed or better for the environment. I mean, there isn't any law about it. At least none I've heard of.

My dad spent the whole of last summer building the shaky shed. He uses it to keep his dad's carpentry tools in. He doesn't get to use them much because he spends most of his time teaching kids like me. It's one of the slightly smaller things that get him down. The news on TV is another. Sometimes he even shouts at the TV and calls politicians rude names.

My dad doesn't teach me because he said it would be unbearable for both of us. He's sad most of the time now since the thing with Finn. He doesn't speak very much either because he's too busy counting everything he can find to count, and speaking is one of the things my family doesn't really do anymore since Finn.

Putting a brick through Old Grundy's window makes me feel sad just telling you about it. Holt Street,where I live, isn't the kind of street that just leaves eco-friendly bricks lying around. I'm not saying we're poor. We just don't leave bricks lying around, either, if you know what I mean.

That's something you have to know about me from the start—I'm always going off on one. My mum says I'm highly imaginative but my dad says I suffer from acute diarrhea of the mouth. So you can take your pick. If you want to, you can skip those things when you feel like it.

Finn's Going. Copyright © by Tom Kelly. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Tom Kelly was born in New Jersey, spent his childhood in Belfast, Ireland, and now lives in England with his family. This is his first novel.

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