Monday, August 25, 2008

The Facttracker

THE FACTTRACKER; Jason Carter Eaton; New York: HarperCollins, 2008; 260p if you include the Pop Quiz. Juvenile Fiction.
"Everyone loves a good explosion" says an imaginary character at the beginning of this delightful book. An explosion follows, but one must read the rest of the story for the complete explosion. The facttracker of the title lives in Traakerfaxx, where the community's business is to dispense facts. The facts came from the factory where the facttracker worked. In this town lived the just small enough boy who didn't know much about himself because his bundle of facts had fallen from the partly finished factory and swept away his parents as it rolled down the hill and far away. As the just small enough boy searches for his life story, the facttracker's dreadful twin brother Ersatz shows up with the Seed of Truth, sets up shop in the Liebrary and fills the town with falsehoods. Soon the townspeople are selling Untruths instead of Facts, sending them out of town by means of a battalion of snails--the Phony Express. The Facttracker is laugh out loud funny, but also has much to say about the relationship between truth and falsehood, understanding and self-deception. (Parents may wish to know that the name of deity is used in a few instances as an exclamation of surprise.)

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