BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Clockwork Girl by Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna, art by Mike Thomas, Grant Bond, Karen Krinbrink, Mirana Reveier, and Kevin Hanna

Clockwork GirlWhen I handed this striking volume to my son (as I often do with most graphic titles, as they seem to be the best way to get him to read), he instantly replied with “oh, I read that already.” I insisted that couldn’t be possible as the pub date is so new. But indeed, he started to rattle off the story in surprising detail: “Don’t you remember, Mom? You took us to that museum in New Mexico long time ago that had the comic book exhibit and we got them all there!” So much for my addled memory, but what did I tell you about encouraging literacy in youth …? If nothing else, I can say with definitive authority that The Clockwork Girl is absolutely memorable.

The son, of course, turned out to be right. Before it became this full-color, all-in-one glossy volume, Clockwork was released in five parts, selling over 340,000 copies worldwide. The book is a stopover on its media metamorphosis: Clockwork is coming in 3-D animation to a theater near you, featuring the voices of Carrie Ann Moss, Jeffrey Tambor, Alexa Vega, and Jesse McCartney. The son is pretty hyped about that, too …

“In a land far, far away …,” commences the tale of two “very different and very important” scientists: Dendrus the Grafter is all about the beauty and power of nature; Wilhelm the Tinkerer is obsessed with all things technical. With the annual Haraway Fair coming up, both scientists have something to prove, but their respective creations – Huxley the mutant boy and Tesla the eponymous Clockwork Girl – have much more to teach their overdriven progenitors about what it means to be truly human. Go, kids, go!

While my son turns a deaf ear to Romeo and Juliet (which he’ll be forced to read in its original during this about-to-begin school year), he can always recall surprising details (“Remember they climb in through the open window in the middle of the night? Remember the big tree with the hole they hide in when the rain starts?”) years later from stories that actually matter to him. Come spring, when he’s struggling through those “wherefore art thou”s, I’ll be sure to pull out Clockwork to remind him just how much he appreciated and enjoyed the story in this inventive, touching, humorous incarnation. I can already guess which he’ll prefer …!

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2011


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