Friday, October 5, 2007

Book Focus: Click

There's been some interest in this new book Click--people calling the store and asking about it (mostly I think due to this interview* with some of the authors and the editor). The plot centers around a girl named Maggie and the strange box filled with shells she inherits from her grandfather Gee, a world-travelling photographer. The story spans whole generations and whole continents, as befits a book from which the royalties will benefit Amnesty International.

What's most fascinating about this novel is that it has ten authors. That's right, 10: every chapter is written by a different person. Now, normally books like this are very hit and miss, emphasis on the miss. They can feel like they have no central plot or no core characters. But this book feels different, and the reason why is the authors involved.

You may already know some of them: Eoin Colfer writes the Artemis Fowl books, Linda Sue Park wrote the Newbery award winner A Single Shard, and Gregory Maguire has written books for adults as well as children, most famously Wicked. Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby are no slouches either, and both have written books for adults and youth.

But the reason I'm excited by Click is the presence of two authors who may not be on your radar: David Almond and Margo Lanagan.

David Almond has written some of my favorite middle-grade books, including Skellig, his most famous. It's a mysterious, moving book about loneliness and friendship, filled with beautiful writing and a wonderful main character.

Margo Lanagan is a short story writer from Australia whose only current import is her collection Black Juice. I read the stories in this and was blown away. Just great great writing, with a weird, tingly bent to them (not quite fantasy/sf, but not...not f/sf, if that makes any sense). The good news for us here in the US? Her newest collection, Red Spikes, will hit our shores this month!

So, check out Click, and check out some of these great authors.

*You should check out the interview, it's really good. Even if you don't have time to listen to it, the page has some interesting info, plus excerpts from the novel.

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