The Thieving Collectors of Fine Children’s Books

Yellow Jacket. Mar. 2021. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499811247.
Gr 3-7–Oliver Nelson is a mostly good if pessimistic kid with a secret: He’s a book thief. This wouldn’t be a problem—after all, no one visits the local public library anymore—except the Pribbles, two wealthy inventors and book collectors, have taken a sudden interest in one of the books Oliver stole, and his attempt to return it ends in disaster when the book is instead tossed into a garbage truck. Soon, Oliver is sucked into the Pribbles’ latest invention, a virtual reality device that will allow them to take the book’s plot straight out of his head. Now Oliver must assist the main characters on their quest—all while avoiding giants, bats, eels, and, of course, the Pribbles—in order to escape. This is a fast-paced, funny tale set in the not too distant future that features an amusing cast of characters. Oliver is perhaps a bit too insightful for the average 10-year-old, but his quick wit and humor are sure to captivate readers. Primary characters present as white.
VERDICT Much in the style of a classic Roald Dahl, this adventure story has a pleasing tongue-in-cheek style. Recommended purchase.

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