cover image Dying to Know You

Dying to Know You

Aidan Chambers. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0165-8

Packed to the brim with challenging ideas, the latest from Chambers—winner of the Printz Award, Carnegie Medal, and Hans Christian Andersen Award, among others—is simultaneously an acutely observed (and surprising) love story; the chronicle of a young man coming into his own as an artist; and a slippery, twisting examination of the art of storytelling. Events kick off when an unnamed 75-year-old author opens his door to an uninvited guest: Karl, an 18-year-old apprentice plumber, who seeks help fulfilling his literary-minded girlfriend’s demand that he write to her about his “inner secrets.” For Karl, who is dyslexic and naturally reserved, this kind of writing is nearly impossible. For the nameless author, the challenge enables him to reopen a part of his life he thought had closed forever. This organic yet intricately crafted story of self-discovery unfurls mainly through the elderly narrator’s first-person account—which, admittedly, may not be an easy sell for teens—as well as e-mails and instant messages. For readers savvy enough to engage with it on any of its many levels, this is a generous gift. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)