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Publisher's Summary

Rhiannon Navin's Only Child is the most powerful audiobook you'll listen to this year....

We went to school that Tuesday like normal.
Not all of us came home....

Huddled in a cloakroom with his classmates and teacher, six-year-old Zach can hear shots ringing through the corridors of his school. A gunman has entered the building and, in a matter of minutes, will have taken 19 lives.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the close-knit community and its families are devastated. Everyone deals with the tragedy differently. Zach's father absents himself; his mother pursues a quest for justice - while Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and drawing.

Ultimately, though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward - as sometimes only a child can.

©2018 Rhiannon Navin (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

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  • Moarando-san
  • 03-15-18

very powerful and emotive

set a record for how quick I listened. really engaging and emotive, it's like your experiencing everything through the eyes of Zach. the author captures the simplicity of the child's eye so clearly and vividly. this book will no doubt help and inspire many.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms Jane Feasey
  • 08-14-18

Incredible

Oh wow. I'm a bit blown over. The story of a boy in incredible pain lost in a world of adults who should know more and pay more attention. But they are lost too. The storyline itself is hard and most definitely a worse nightmare but this could not have been conveyed in such a powerful way without this truly gifted narrator who I am going to Google right now. An amazing experience .

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  • S. Bowley
  • 05-29-18

Beautiful!

If they can find a child actor to fit this should be made into a film! What a story!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-26-18

Beautiful tragic story

Beautifully told story, not for the faint hearted. I felt like I have been on that journey with the family and have learnt so much on the way. I initially thought it was a shame she didn’t deal with the gun law issue but now I realise this is a book about loss and grief not political activism. Highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-17-18

Fantastic!

I really enjoyed this book. It was written from an interesting perspective and the performance of the young narrator was incredible. This book definitely benefited from
being read aloud by a young boy, realistically portraying the narrative of the novel. Excellent work.

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  • Curlygirl66
  • 04-10-18

Disappointed

I was looking for something a bit different from my usual genre, crime/thriller, and after reading great reviews bought Only Child. It was quirky to begin with, but quickly became predictable and repetitive. The story is told from the perspective of Zak who is six years old, however, I became irritated as the story developed because I have never met a six year old with the supposed vocabulary and insight that Zak has. I am a very sensitive, emotional person but did not feel moved as the other reviewers did. Having said all that the narrator was excellent and I would definitely like to hear more books read by Kivlighan De montebello.

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  • avid reader
  • 04-03-18

Could not get into it

I just could not get into the book, maybe due to the narrator sounding like/being(?) a child. It just seemed to be a a very, very precocious child. I feel a real 6 year old would not think that deeply. The idea for the book is good, but for me it somehow did not sound plausible.

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  • jill middlemas
  • 03-26-18

Wow

Narrated by a very talented young lad. Narrated with such passion I could vividly see everything going on around him. Sadly at this time in our world this book is a reality for a lot of parents. It's heartbreaking. We need time stop this from happening in our world. Totally addictive listening sad happy a world of emotions overall excellent

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  • Rod
  • 06-26-18

Harrowing

Rhainnon Navin’s harrowing novel is not only timely, but a sometimes-difficult glimpse into the world of a child who lives through and survives a school massacre. As the school goes into lockdown, the sounds of a gun popping through the hallways terrifies the children and their saviour teacher, Miss Russell.

In the immediate aftermath, six-year-old Zach witnesses the arrival of police, the panicked parents, the lack of news and then, slowly, the growing list of the dead and the news that the shooter was a fellow student.

The long-term devastation rips families and friendships apart and we experience it all through the confusion of Zach’s eyes, who tells the story with the voice of narrator Kivlighan De Montebello. His storytelling skills defy his young years.

Navin’s novel is insightful, tender and terrifying. Her ability to capture the world around her from the viewpoint of someone who doesn’t always understand is both heartbreaking and gripping. The opening scenes of the shooting, told from Zach’s hiding place in a cupboard, is just as terrifying as it would have been facing the gunman. Like a proverbial train wreck, it’s difficult to stop ploughing through Navin’s story, witnessing the damage unfolding and the adults around Zach struggling to cope in ways that make no sense to him. Zach too, fails to understand his own reactions: his anger, his sadness, his extreme reactions…

De Montebello is equally exceptional. This young actor, whose film debut was only 4 years ago, provides a poignant reading that encapsulates every emotion. He breathes life into Navin’s text, creating vivid images of each scene. We understand and believe in him and the people around him.

The subject matter of Navin’s debut novel may be too close to home for some, but it outstrips many thrillers even without action scenes.