The Thieving Collectors of Fine Children's Books

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
332 0
The Thieving Collectors of Fine Children's Books
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
March 02, 2021
ISBN
978-1499811247
Buy This Book
      
Oliver Nelson has a terrible secret-he's a thief.

But he only steals books from the Garden Grove Library that are old, musty, brittle, or incomplete, like his favorite book, The Timekeeper's Children. No one reads anymore, and surely no one will miss them, right? Wrong.

The Pribbles are famous inventors of the most popular toy in the world, alternate-reality goggles. They are also book collectors who are searching for The Timekeeper's Children, so the Pribbles hatch a plan. They invite Oliver, the last person to have checked it out, to their mansion and use special software from their goggles to steal the last remaining copy of the book--from inside Oliver's mind.

Now, Oliver is thrust into the middle of the story and must help the main characters steal pieces scattered around the fictional world of Dulum to build a magical clock that can turn back time before the evil sorcerer Sigil takes over. They'll encounter hideous giants, bloodsucking bats, vicious eels, a Nasty Rodent Eater, a gang of wicked children, and a strange, dark figure that follows them from chapter to chapter, all the while with the Pribbles in pursuit.

Can Oliver save Dulum before Sigil destroys everything? And will he finish The Timekeeper's Children before the Pribbles steal it from his mind?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Story Within a Story
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Oliver Nelson and his father live in somewhat straightened circumstances after the death of his mother, and he takes a lot of solace in reading in the Garden Grove library. Ms. Fringlemeier, the librarian, always has a smile and a book for him, and he immerses himself in books like the Swordflinger Saga. When the Pribbles, who are very wealthy because of their technology business that produces the wildly popular Pribble Entertainment Goggles, realize that the library has a book they want for their collection, they buy the entire library and shut it down. Unbeknownst even to the librarian, Oliver has been stealing books from the library. He has a strict code of what he will take (it has to be in poor condition and seem unread), but one book in his possession, The Timekeeper's Children, is one that the Pribbles want. This book is a particular favorite of Oliver's, even though the last chapter is missing. He no longer has the book, but the Pribbles invite him to their home because he is the last person to have checked out the book. While there, he finds that the Pribbles have a device called a Cortexia that can harvest the book from Oliver's mind. Wearing the Entertainment Goggles, the three are thrust into the story of The Timekeeper's Children.

Written in the 1980s and having sold few copies, this tale of adventure is one of Mr. Pribble's favorites, and he wants to program the tale into the goggles. As Oliver advances through the tale, he meets Jack and Cora, the children of the timekeeper, who are on a quest to steal the crown of the King of Dulum and deliver it to a villain called Sigil. They hope to use their father's clock to turn back time and save their mother. In order to do so, they must work with the narrator, a creature named the Nasty Rodent Eater, and work their way through the story with the Pribbles hot on their trail. They also are shadowed by a mysterious figure whom they find out is the author of the story! They must face bats, eels, the Gang of Impervious Children, and figure out a riddle in order to get to the end of the book. But what is the end? Since Oliver doesn't remember, he needs to figure out what the best ending is for Jack and Cora.
Good Points
This reminded me, in the best way, of Townley's The Great Good Thing, while being a fresh, adventure filled tale. Like Claire, who had the only remaining copy of The Great Good Thing and who had a close relationship with the author, Oliver is determined to save The Timekeeper's Children. I loved this comment that he makes (in the uncorrected proof): "This is my book, too. I created it along the way, making it different and better than the author could ever dream." Claire and Oliver both get to live in the story, make changes, and put important characters in so that they continue to live. It doesn't hurt that the title of Oliver's book is very close to a book my daughter checked out of the public library so many times that I had to buy her a copy. The cover of the 1989 The Children of Time by Deborah Moulton is what I saw in my mind's eye as I was going through this book.

I sometimes find fantasy hard going, and the intricate, interwoven plots were sometimes hard for me to follow, but these will enthrall fantasy readers who would dearly love to read The Swordflinger Saga if they were a real books. Oliver's love of literature is great to see, and his story is one that young readers can imagine themselves into. The Pribbles are delightful villains who are just quirky enough to be interesting and dangerous rather than annoying. The technology of the Entertainment Goggles is fascinating, and also makes a great point about imagination, and how the lure of constantly being connected to a phone or electronic device is damaging the ability of many children to enjoy books and use their imagination.

The Thieving Collectors of Fine Children's Books is a great choice for readers who have a good background in high fantasy books like McMann's The Unwanteds or Anderson's The Dungeoneers, but also for those who enjoy a story-within-a-story novel, such as O'Donnell's Homerooms and Hall Passes, or McKay's The Last Dragon Charmer series. There are several mentions of one of my favorite books as well: Mary Norton's The Borrowers (1952). Perhaps readers will be encouraged to pick up that series when they are finished, but I hope they check it out of the library instead of stealing it!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The City Beautiful
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical...
The Shape of Thunder
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a...
Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lyrical and heartfelt collection by an award-winning writer that...
The Republic of Birds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A young witch must save her sister from evil birds...
Fearless
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It was a test, you fool,” she sneered, “to see...
Ducks on the Road: A Counting Adventure
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Caldecott Honor artist Anita Lobel comes a touching and...
Sloth and Smell the Roses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A playful board book about the pillars of mindfulness from...
Curious About Insects
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for the littlest bug buffs, this board book offers...
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious, #4)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell...
Simone Breaks All the Rules
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of You Should See Me in...
Chess Not Checkers
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Chess not Checkers is a teen novel with adult adventures...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While...
Curse of the Specter Queen
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
MAY THE HAZEL BRING YOU WISDOM AND THE ASPEN...
Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
With passion and precision, Kekla Magoon relays an essential account...
Kneel
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression through...

Latest Member Reviews

Curious About Insects
 
5.0
"CURIOUS ABOUT INSECTS is a great non-fiction board book that lays out some basic facts about insects. Each page has..."
Whose Big Rig?
 
4.7
"WHOSE BIG RIG? is a delightful board book that takes children through the vehicles involved in building a light rail,..."
Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs
 
4.3
"From the creative team that brought us Amphibian Acrobats and Superlative Birds, we now have this poetic treatment about every..."
Treemendous: Diary of a Not Yet Mighty Oak
 
5.0
"A small acorn chronicles her life in diary format from her start to her twentieth year. We see how an..."
Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott
 
4.3
"Bornin 1943, twins Judith and Joyce Scott were close. They played with dolls and tea sets, and had adventures outside...."
Just Pretend
 
4.3
"In this graphic memoir, we see Tori as she is going into 7th grade. She and her friend spend a..."
Everything You Need to Know When You Are 10
 
4.3
"This starts with a list of things every ten year old needs, like a library card, a calendar, and a..."
What's Up, Fire Truck? (A Pop Magic Book): Folds into a 3-D Truck!
 
3.7
"WHAT'S UP, FIRE TRUCK? is an innovative book design that includes lots of lift-the-flap pages and then folds into a..."
The Stuff Between the Stars
 
5.0
"The Stuff Between the Stars by Sandra Nickel is a beautifully illustrated biography of Vera Rubin, the woman astronomer credited..."
Flip Flap Snap: Farm
 
5.0
"Flip Flap Snap: Farm by Joanna McInerney, artwork by Carmen Saldaña, will immediately engage young readers. While lifting the flaps..."
Flip Flap Snap: Dinosaurs
 
5.0
"Flip Flap Snap: Dinosaurs by Joanna McInerney, artwork by Carmen Saldaña, is an adorable book for young readers. While lifting..."
Colors of Habitats
 
4.0
"COLORS OF HABITATS is a beautifully illustrated oversized book of inspiration for artists. The book walks through different habitats from..."
I Am the Shark
 
4.7
"I AM THE SHARK is a fun and educational picture book about self-confidence. A great white shark is introducing the..."
The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II
 
5.0
"My Name Ollis Bator from Tx USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband have been into one quarrel..."
The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II
 
4.0
"‘The Missing: The True Story of My Family in WWII’ by Michael Rosen shares the story of a family who..."
The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
5.0
"What worked: This is one gut-wrenching, powerful collection of stories of young Jewish women Resistance fighters in Hitler's Ghettos. While..."
Take Me Home: Forests of the World
 
5.0
"TAKE ME HOME: FORESTS OF THE WORLD is an approachable nonfiction book that teaches about different kinds of forests, from..."
Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
"TAKE ME HOME: WATERS OF THE WORLD is an engaging nonfiction picture book that teaches basics and fun facts about..."
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
"COLORS IN NATURE is a beautifully illustrated book of art that features animals and plants. The book walks through each..."
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
"WELCOME TO ARIZONA is a simple, fun travel guide picture book for children about the state. The book covers fun..."