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Meet filmmaker Barney Kettle, who liked to invent stories but found a real one under his nose.

Meet filmmaker Barney Kettle, who liked to invent stories but found a real one under his nose.

Barney Kettle knew he would be a very famous film director one day, he just didn’t know when that day would arrive. He was already an actual director – he’d made four fifteen-minute films – but so far only his schoolmates and the residents of the High Street had viewed them. Global fame was a little way off. It would come, though. Barney was certain about that ...

So begins the manuscript written from the hospital bed of an unnamed man.

He has written it over many months as he recovers from serious injuries sustained in a city-wide catastrophe.

He has written so he can remember the street where he lived, home to a cavalcade of interesting people, singular shops, and curious stories.

He has written so he can remember the summer before he was injured, the last days of a vanished world.

Above all, he has written so he can remember the inimitable Barney Kettle, filmmaker, part-time dictator, questing brain, theatrical friend; a boy who loved to invent stories but found a real one under his nose; a boy who explored his neighbourhood with camera in hand and stumbled on a mystery that changed everything ...

A beautiful story: big-hearted, richly entertaining, powerful.


2016 Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Award and winner of the Esther Glen Award at the 2016 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Reviews

Surprising, gripping, heart-breaking and ultimately incredibly moving, this novel stood out right from the start. This book is packed with warmth, wonderful language, rich and witty observations, compelling characters and layers of message and meaning.

Judges of the Esther Glen Award, 2016 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

One thing you can be sure of when you open a Kate De Goldi book is that it’ll be good...Great control of tone; a protagonist who will haunt you for days afterwards; breadth of skill and generosity of spirit. An author who’s a national asset.

David Hill, The Weekend Herald

It’s heart-warming and it’s heartbreaking, it’s original and clever...and it’s one to put on your must-read lists.

Nicky Pellegrino, Herald on Sunday

From the Cutting Room is also a story about the creation of stories - the headlong excitement of the creative process, the euphoric feeling that comes with a great idea...One suspects De Goldi had a similar feeling as she wrote the brave and beautiful end to her High St story.

Catherine Woulfe, NZ Listener

[T]he story will appeal to all ages...[I] just let De Goldi's language carry me forward...inexorably moving towards the devastating February 2011 event. The fallout and aftermath are poignant...Everyone was touched by that disaster, and De Goldi's High St community are no exception, but solutions are found, questions answered, and the ending is molto moving and memorable.

Rachel Gurney, Otago Daily Times

I had to slow myself down while reading this book, to better savour the words inside. Halfway through, I already knew I wanted to re-read it. Kate De Goldi is a spectacular wordsmith. Her main characters, Ren and Barney, are alive on the page, so alive that to read their story is to experience it. ... I feel richer for having read about the people of De Goldi’s High Street, from the bookshop to the Nut Shop, the junk shop the kids’ dad runs, to the Living History Museum – an echo of the website created by ex-High Street inhabitants, High Street Stories. I urge everybody to go and get this book and read it, no matter your age. This ode to the Christchurch of yore is phenomenally good.

Sarah Forster, We Love Books: The Booksellers NZ Blog

Kate De Goldi's writing for children and young adults has been acclaimed for its vibrancy and verisimilitude. De Goldi often takes the reader into psychologically complex territory and, for this reason, her books are sometimes pegged as adult fiction in children's clothing. Certainly, they reward an adult reading; but, at the same time, De Goldi has a sure instinct for how to engage the younger reader. Her writing style is accessible, lucid and unpretentious, yet it is also extraordinarily subtle. Undercurrents swirl beneath the surface, whether the reader is alert to them or not. This is literature that will give children what they want, and also what they may not yet know they need... Children's experience of fiction can be especially raw. Perhaps this is why, in childhood in particular, certain books sear themselves into our memories. They become archetypes according to which we interpret future experiences, even after their details are long forgotten - in the words of Barney Kettle's narrator, they "more or less take up residence inside you". From the Cutting Room of Barney Kettle is this kind of book: one that deserves to be read at least once in childhood, and again looking back. Part mystery, part comedy, part social commentary, part requiem for a lost world, it is also one of the cleverest and most structurally inventive books of the past year. A tour de force.

Emma Martin, New Zealand Books

Surprising, gripping, heart-breaking and ultimately incredibly moving, this novel stood out right from the start. This book is packed with warmth, wonderful language, rich and witty observations, compelling characters and layers of message and meaning.

Judges of the Junior Fiction prize in the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781775535768

    September 23, 2015

    Longacre Child

    336 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781775535775

    September 23, 2015

    RHNZ Children’s ebooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Awards and Recognition

  • New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults
    2016
    Winner
    Winner of the Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction
  • Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Award
    2016
    Awarded
    A 2016 Storylines Notable Book
  • White Ravens International Youth Library
    2016
    On selection list
    -

Also by Kate De Goldi

Sanctuary
Love, Charlie Mike
Closed, Stranger
The ACB With Honora Lee
The 10pm Question

Recommendations

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One
The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK12)
Undercover Princess
Alice-Miranda At School 1
Midnight Jewel
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Trash
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid
Thirteen Reasons Why
The Witches
A Semi-definitive List of Worst Nightmares
Library Of Souls
Dr Boogaloo and The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter
Pippa's Island 2: Cub Reporters
Now
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
365 Days of Wonder
Our Australian Girl: The Lina Stories
You Choose AFL: Footy Fever