Monday, April 20, 2009

Lee Raven Boy Thief by Zizou Corder

Starting a new book is just like meeting someone new. You can know all sorts of things about the person but until you meet face to face you cannot know if you can truly be friends. This is just how I felt when I picked up Lee Raven Boy Thief. I simply loved Lion Boy by the mother daughter writing team called Zizou Corder. The part I did not love with Lion Boy was when I realised, 20 pages from the end, that Lion Boy would not be solved and that I would need to wait for the second and later still for the third book.

So it was with slightly mixed feelings I picked up Lee Raven Boy Thief. I was excited to start a new book by this marvelous writing team but also nervous that this book might also be only the beginning, that sequels might await me. Luckily this was not the case. Lee Raven is a fabulous book based on a great premise of the book that contains all stories.
The book, the Book of Nebo or “Booko!” as Lee names him, has survived in many forms from clay tablets, papyrus, and vellum. The evil Nigella alias Romana Asteriosy almost succeeds in turning the book into digital form … "Could I now become bytes or Bits? A disc or a pod…. I shivered a little at the thought.”

As with all great stories I simply ‘gobbled’ this book up in one sitting. Here is a terrific example of very fine writing for children where each chapter tells the story from a different point of view. This is such a terrific device. I think the first time I encountered was over 25 years ago in a Betsy Byars book about the Blossom family – A blossom Promise.

My favourite idea in this book is that when a new reader picks up 'The Book' the story will be perfect, it will be just the right story for you personally. When Edward Maggs of Maggs Brothers Antiquarian Booksellers of Berkeley Square opens this book it contains the diary of William Shakespeare, When Julie Mordy opens the book the first two stories are by Oscar Wilde and for our hero Lee, who is illiterate, The Book becomes the Beano comic.

This is a story of greed, courage, dreams, truth, mice, sewer tunnels and friendship. There is also a layer of the future in this book just as there was in Lion Boy and as you would know from my previous postings to this blog I really do enjoy books with a futuristic (but not pessimistic) theme such as Airborn, and The Giver by Lois Lowry.

One of my first blogged books was The Book without Words and readers of Lee Raven Boy Thief would certainly enjoy this one too along with Cornelia Funk’s great adventure The Thief Lord which has a similar feel too it of adventure and chase scenes, mishaps, and evil characters.


jennyhogan said...

Sequals drive me crazy also. There is nothing like a lovely self contained story to give a feeling of lingering satisfaction

jennyhogan said...

Sequals dive me crazy also. there is nothing like a nice self contained story to give you a feeling of lingering satisfaction