The Thieving Collectors of Fine Children’s Books

Adam Perry. Yellow Jacket, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4998-1124-7
This rollicking metafictional fantasy by Perry (The Magicians of Elephant County) finds 10-year-old Oliver Nelson secreting away in, and stealing books from, a largely unvisited library. It’s the latter half of the 21st century, and he’s the only child he knows who reads. His classmates, instead, are fascinated by the alternate reality worlds provided by Pribble Entertainment, a corporation helmed by Mr. and Mrs. Pribble, inventors and avaricious collectors of children’s books. Keen to collect Mr. Pribble’s favorite fictional book, The Timekeeper’s Children, the Pribbles track down Oliver, who last checked out the book’s last existing copy. With a device of their own invention that’s capable of stealing memories, they force him into an alternate reality version of the book. To make his way in the beloved story while attempting to foil the Pribbles’ plot, Oliver must forge alliances and persuade the characters to join their quest. Perry’s early scene of Oliver sampling the Pribbles’ VR goggles clearly aligns fantasy stories with the sorts of video games that are their conceptual descendants, a move that results in an imaginative read for fans of the Land of Stories series. Ages 8–12. Agent: Alex Slater, Trident Media. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/04/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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