The Unforgotten Coat

The Unforgotten Coat


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From the best-selling author of Cosmic and Millions comes an evocative immigration tale about two brothers trying to survive— a daring story that miraculously defies belief.

When two Mongolian brothers inexplicably appear one morning in Julie’s sixth grade class, no one, least of all Julie, knows what to do with them. But when Chingis, the older of the two brothers, proclaims Julie as their “Good Guide” — a nomadic tradition of welcoming strangers to a new land — Julie must somehow navigate them through soccer, school uniforms, and British slang, all while trying to win Shocky’s attention and perhaps also an invitation to her friend Mimi’s house. At times funny, this moving and simply told novella tugs at the heart — a unique story of immigration both fierce in its telling and magical in its characters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763657291
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 09/13/2011
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 1,159,898
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Frank Cottrell Boyce has written several children's books, including Millions, winner of the Carnegie Medal, and Cosmic, both of which have been turned into films. This is his first book with Candlewick Press. He lives in England with his family.

Carl Hunter and Clare Heney are both filmmakers who have partnered on a number of short films, including an adaptation of Frank Cottrell Boyce's short story Accelerate. They live in England.

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Unforgotten Coat 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
cay250 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Treading water in her last term of elementary school, Julie figures she¿s learned all there is to learn, when two Mongolian brothers in fur-lined coats (it¿s summer) arrive: Chingis and Nergui.Chingis explains to their teacher that little Nergui¿s hat must stay on, like a hunting eagle¿s hood. Such casual references to wonders far from their Liverpool suburb, documented in the text with eerie Polaroid snapshots, enthrall the children, especially Julie. She¿s elated when Chingis appoints her the brothers¿ ¿good guide.¿ Despite her title, Julie can¿t discover where they live; street-smart Chingis foils her attempts to follow them, taking a different route each day. Thwarted curiosity prompts her to research Mongolia online, succumbing to the mystery and fascination of far-off places and people. As her persistence pays off, she awakens to the fear the brothers carry. Reminds me of Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.
ChristianR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read Frank Cottrell Boyce's other three books and I think he's a terrific author. This book is an interesting switch for him. Julie lives a normal existence, thinking mostly about the boy she likes and getting to play with her friend's makeup, until a new boy arrives at school with his brother. They are from Mongolia, and are quite different than anyone she has ever known. They assign her the role of Good Guide, which she willingly takes on. She learns interesting things about Mongolia and hopes to be invited to their home. But she also learns that they are frightened, and doesn't understand why until after they have suddenly disappeared, taken by immigration authorities to be returned to their homeland. The boys are really intriguing characters, and Cottrell Boyce succeeds in demonstrating how people from other cultures can enrich a community.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's a short little book and kids will dig the format and the photos. It's an important story and one that's obviously dear to Mr. Boyce's heart, but for me I didn't really connect with any of the characters. I don't know if that's a cultural thing (by which I mean the story's set in England) or if maybe the photos and notebook paper distracted from the story...
callielou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an unusual story from Frank Cottrell Boyce. I love his work, even though I'm not always sure kids enjoy them as much as adults. As a librarian, I often recommend the audio versions for family road trips. But this one really resonated with me, especially after reading the afterward. I think it's an important story to tell and maybe it will impact some children as well. I loved the book's layout, but I also loved the audio version as well--his books always have great readers.
Sunday44 More than 1 year ago
What is real and what is imaginary? How can the imaginary be useful? How can we hide ourselves inside a language? How can we "learn ourselves ordinary"? What happens when the ordinary experiences the extraordinary? There are so many thought-provoking questions for our students to think about and discuss as we read this aloud or as they read it in small groups or on their own. I've listened to the audio and read the book and been moved by both. The experiences of Chingis and Nergui, two refugee brothers and the sixth-year girl they meet at school who becomes their "Good Guide" and tells their story will stay in your heart.