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The Thieving Collectors of Fine Children’s Books by Adam Perry

I heard a lot of buzz about this book on social media, so I finally picked up a copy from McNally Robinson. Wow. It hooked me from the very first page (who can resist when “blood” is the first word?) right until the end.

This book takes place in a time when children rarely read for pleasure. Alternative reality goggles are the most common form of entertainment, created by The Pribbles, who are famous inventors. Oliver is one of the few exceptions who still loves books, but he also has a secret he’s hiding – he steals them from his local library. When The Pribbles discover Oliver was the last person to check out The Timekeeper’s Children, a title they desperately need for their extensive book collection, they are willing to go to extreme lengths to get it from Oliver by extracting it from his mind using a new invention called CORTEXIA. Oliver and The Pribbles are thrown into the story, but Oliver goes off course and changes the story’s trajectory while The Pribbles chase him through it. Oliver makes friends (and enemies) of the characters, encounters deadly beasts, has to help find items to build a device to turn back time before the evil Sigil tries to wipe out children altogether.

I loved the humour in this story and that I never knew what would happen next. It was richly detailed, imaginative, and moved at a quick pace. It’s definitely on my list of favorite fantasy reads for the first half of 2021, and I predict this book will appeal to many of my fantasy-loving patrons.

Recommended: Gr. 5-7 (5 stars)