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The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe
Read by Dick Weir
For as long as Michael can remember, he has lived in the Great House - a home for abandoned children, its gardens surrounded by high walls. One day he meets a boy all in green (rather like Peter Pan) who can fly and is invisible to most people. Michael is keen to be free of his miserable life and changes places with this Loblolly Boy. But the price of freedom is high...
He has no home and has lost the ability to eat, drink and connect with others. He discovers however that he can be seen by certain Sensitives, like the twin sisters he becomes very close to. When he is hunted by a Collector who entraps him, the girls rescue him and he finds that in fact they are his real sisters. To get back to live with them as a human he will need to swap with another unhappy boy who will then become a Loblolly Boy. For ages 10+
The Loblolly Boy won the NZ Post Junior Fiction Award in 2010.
Michael, or Red as he's known in the Great House he lives in, wants to escape from the horrid institution. He meets a green flying boy who exchanges places with him, granting him freedom and the… Audio
The Captain gives the Loblolly Boy a small model train engine and instructs him to return it. Michael flies off to find his future. He meets Suzy and Meg and sits with the dog Bella while they're at… Audio
Suzy comes into the room where the Collector has trapped the Loblolly Boy in a cage and agrees to exchange with him. She will become a Loblolly Boy and be able to fly away free, and he will become… Audio
The Collector returns to the room to find a girl in his cage. There's a knocking at the door. It's Suzy's sister Meg and their mother who angrily tells the Collector off and takes who she thinks is… Audio
Michael/Suzy has learnt that he's staying with his mother and sisters. But he wants to be his real boy self Michael. He and Meg go to the park, she does the exchange. The Collector appears and chases… Audio
After a bit of exchanging, Meg and Suzy become themselves again and Michael is the Loblolly Boy once more. He goes back to the Captain to return the model train and is nearly caught by the Collector… Audio
The Loblolly Boy flies back to the Great House and finds Red, the boy who exchanged with him in the first place. He gives him back the train and Red agrees to exchange back to being a Loblolly Boy… Audio
James Norcliffe is a Christchurch-based, award-winning poet with six collections published, and five novels for young adults. The Assassin of Gleam won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for the best New Zealand fantasy novel of 2006, and was shortlisted for the Esther Glen Award.
Adapted for radio by Murray Reece. Produced by Prue Langbein and engineered by Darryl Stack for RNZ