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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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  • Joan
  • 04-07-21

Impressive Debut.

I’m glad I chose this book and it is commendable for a first novel. Excellent writing, fast paced, gripping, incredibly moving and sad, with great narration. Told through the eyes of a six year old boy and beautifully done. One minor gripe is the implausibility of a few events and the blind selfishness of grieving characters, but I’m being picky here as the quality of plot, and great characters and description make this an unusual and unputdownable listen. Bring on another please Ms. Navin.

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  • L. H. De Laune
  • 01-11-21

Superb

One of the best books I have ever listened to. The narrator was superb, the perspectives unique. Moved me to tears often.
Wish there could be a sequel...

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  • adele Lorraine Sanders
  • 12-27-20

Beautifully narrated

Absolutly a thought provoking and emorional listen. Felt the pain and horror as this book was brought alive by the authentic beautiful narration. Couldnt recommend this book enough as the author walks us through life of a family trying to survive the aftermath of loosing their child during a school shooting .

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  • Siobhan
  • 08-07-20

Fabulous

There is so much to learn from Zach. This is a must read for all.

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  • Mrs P
  • 02-02-20

A sad but beautiful tale, well read.

Telling the story through the eyes of a 6 year old is unusual but amazing. He grappled with some big situations and feelings and tried to find words for them. The narrator was fabulous too. A very talented young man. Really enjoyed this book.

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  • Arti Sodha
  • 01-19-20

Great story and narrator is perfect for the voice

Loved it, story moved well with so many emotions explored. Love the narrator's child like voice, made it more real.

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  • Sue in the woods
  • 01-08-20

A poignant tale of life after catastrophe in the USA

Excellent narration by young Kivlighan De Montellbano.

Story is, interestingly, from the point of view of a very smart six year old. Quite didactic. I “read” it for book club and must say I did enjoy it, overall.

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  • Dodi
  • 12-01-19

Through the eyes of a child

Marvelously written, exceptionally read. Very emotional as you experience a child's pain in an adults world

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  • Erika Lee
  • 01-11-19

A beautifully written book

To start with I wasn't sure if I could listen to this one due to the subject matter and also the child narration but within a couple of minutes I was completely engrossed. It's such a touching and thought provoking story and performance that I found myself driving around just so that I could hear a bit more. It made me cry and it made me smile, but more than anything I felt like I truly understood what the family was going through. Highly recommend this, give it the time & attention that it deserves.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • 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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Profile Image for Rod
  • 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.