Diggers (Bromeliad Trilogy Series #2)

Overview

The nomes are ready for their
Bright New Dawn!

But the trouble with Bright New Dawns is that they're usually followed by cloudy days. With scattered showers. Life Outside the Store is much colder than the four-inch-tall nomes expected. And there aren't any walls . . . it's all very unsettling.

Still, the nomes are finally adjusting to their new home at the abandoned quarry, when a Sign arrives announcing the ...

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Diggers (Bromeliad Trilogy Series #2)

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Overview

The nomes are ready for their
Bright New Dawn!

But the trouble with Bright New Dawns is that they're usually followed by cloudy days. With scattered showers. Life Outside the Store is much colder than the four-inch-tall nomes expected. And there aren't any walls . . . it's all very unsettling.

Still, the nomes are finally adjusting to their new home at the abandoned quarry, when a Sign arrives announcing the quarry is to be reopened. The humans are coming to mess things up (as usual), but this time the nomes might just fight back — if they can find a way to rouse the mysterious Dragon in the Hill.

The nomes, whose families have lived for generations in a department store, are forced to flee to a country quarry, where they struggle against harsh weather, destructive humans, and dissension among themselves, and where they realize that their destiny may lie elsewhere.

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Editorial Reviews

The Horn Book
“Fascinating and funny.”
Locus
“Witty, funny, wise and altogether delightful.”
Lloyd Alexander
“Terry Pratchett has created a wild adventure, a fable, a fantasy, an elegant satire.”– Lloyd Alexander
ALA Booklist
“A wry tongue-in-cheek fantasy…which unhesitatingly lampoons the ingrained habits and complacent attitudes found in any society.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Bromeliad trilogy, begun in Truckers , continues with this slapstick romp laced with some sharp, satirical barbs. Diggers again features the nomes, little people from outer space who have set up housekeeping in an abandoned quarry. But, as nomes often comment, wherever humans have been, they're sure to return, and the quarry is no exception. Soon the nomes are once again scrambling for safety, with hilarious results. While those familiar with Truckers are sure to have a ball with Diggers, the action will make no sense to the uninitiated. Pratchett may have bitten off more subplots than he can chew here, but he promises to resolve them--including the cliffhanger that ends this volume, in the final installment of the serial. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)
Publishers Weekly
Led by young Masklin, a small band of four-inch-tall nomes join a larger society of nomes living in a human department store. When they learn that the store is to be destroyed, rival factions come together to find safety, and learn the surprising truth about their origins. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Originally published in 1989, this second book in the Bromeliad Trilogy continues to chronicle the experiences of a group of nomes struggling for survival. Having successfully fled the burning store in a truck that they rigged up to suit their small size, the nomes have found an abandoned quarry in which to make a new home. Just as they begin to settle in, however, the humans return and plan to reopen the quarry. Masklin, the heroic leader in the first book of the series, leaves the quarry in secret hope of locating the ship in the sky that presumably carried the nome forefathers to this place called earth. In his absence, young Grimma, a feisty, well-read, female takes charge. With the help of the tinkerer Dorcas and his bulldozer friend, Grimma leads her fellow nomes toward safety, sending a clear message of nome power and strength to the humans who attempt to overrun their home. In a final heroic display, Masklin arrives in a flying craft and whisks his friends into the sky. This second installment continues to please in the portrayal of its imagined community. The nomes are both naïve and wise in their understandings, and we find them both humorous and admirable their demonstrations of rational thinking and problem solving. This is evident especially in the undercurrent of religion and faith that runs through the novel. Should the nomes attribute their condition to the will of Arnold Bros (est. 1905)? Will this creator aid the nomes in their time of need? What might happen to those who don't believe? 2004, HarperTrophy/HarperCollins, Ages 12 to 17.
—Wendy Glenn, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- This newest addition to what will become the Bromeliad trilogy continues the adventures of a race of miniature creatures called nomes, whose story began in Truckers (Delacorte, 1990). The nomes, a Borrower-like folk, have fled from their comfortable homes beneath the floorboards of a large department store after learning that it is about to be demolished. They now live in an old rock quarry where they are at the mercy of humans, wild animals, weather, and changing seasons. The nomes' salvation seems to rest in their ability to take over and drive the Cat, a huge yellow piece of earth-moving equipment, which will take them to the Barn, a place of relative safety. Their efforts to drive the monster fail just as a mysterious ``airplane without wings'' floats over them. Dorcas, one of the older, wiser nomes, is convinced that this signals the return of their leader Masklin, who has been off exploring. As the story ends, Dorcas is wondering just what Masklin has been up to, and that, obviously, is what readers will find out in the yet-to-be-published part three of the trilogy. While this tale may work well as a sequel, it will not have wide appeal to readers who missed the first installment. Background information is needed to follow the plot, and character development is dependent on prior knowledge of the major players. The tongue-in-cheek humor that pokes fun at the nomes' many foibles and the satirical slant of the fantasy will be lost on many youngsters. Still, for those who read and enjoyed Truckers , this will be a welcome continuation of those adventures. --Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060094942
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/13/2004
  • Series: Bromeliad Trilogy Series , #2
  • Edition description: First Harper Trophy Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is one of the world's most popular authors. His acclaimed novels are bestsellers in the United States and the United Kingdom, and have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. In January 2009, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Pratchett a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his services to literature. Sir Terry lives in England.

Biography

Welcome to a magical world populated by the usual fantasy fare: elves and ogres, wizards and witches, dwarves and trolls. But wait—is that witch wielding a frying pan rather than a broomstick? Has that wizard just clumsily tumbled off the edge of the world? And what is with the dwarf they call Carrot, who just so happens to stand six-foot six-inches tall? Why, this is not the usual fantasy fare at all—this is Terry Pratchett's delightfully twisted Discworld!

Beloved British writer Pratchett first jump-started his career while working as a journalist for Bucks Free Press during the '60s. As luck would have it, one of his assignments was an interview with Peter Bander van Duren, a representative of a small press called Colin Smythe Limited. Pratchett took advantage of his meeting with Bander van Duren to pitch a weird story about a battle set in the pile of a frayed carpet. Bander van Duren bit, and in 1971 Pratchett's very first novel, The Carpet People, was published, setting the tone for a career characterized by wacky flights of fancy and sly humor.

Pratchett's take on fantasy fiction is quite unlike that of anyone else working in the genre. The kinds of sword-and-dragon tales popularized by fellow Brits like J.R.R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis have traditionally been characterized by their extreme self-seriousness. However, Pratchett has retooled Middle Earth and Narnia with gleeful goofiness, using his Discworld as a means to poke fun at fantasy. As Pratchett explained to Locus Magazine, "Discworld started as an antidote to bad fantasy, because there was a big explosion of fantasy in the late '70s, an awful lot of it was highly derivative, and people weren't bringing new things to it."

In 1983, Pratchett unveiled Discworld with The Color of Magic. Since then, he has added installments to the absurdly hilarious saga at the average rate of one book per year. Influenced by moderately current affairs, he has often used the series to subtly satirize aspects of the real world; the results have inspired critics to rapturous praise. ("The most breathtaking display of comic invention since PG Wodehouse," raved The Times of London.) He occasionally ventures outside the series with standalone novels like the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, a sci fi adventure sequence for young readers, or Good Omens, his bestselling collaboration with graphic novelist Neil Gaiman.

Sadly, in 2008 fans received the devastating news that Pratchett had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He has described his own reaction as "fairly philosophical" and says he plans to continue writing so long as he is able.

Good To Know

Pratchett's bestselling young adult novel Only You Can Save Mankind was adapted for the British stage as a critically acclaimed musical in 2004.

Discworld is not just the subject of a bestselling series of novels. It has also inspired a series of computer games in which players play the role of the hapless wizard Rincewind.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Pratchett:

"I became a journalist at 17. A few hours later I saw my first dead body, which was somewhat…colourful. That's when I learned you can go on throwing up after you run out of things to throw up."

"The only superstition I have is that I must start a new book on the same day that I finish the last one, even if it's just a few notes in a file. I dread not having work in progress.

"I grow as many of our vegetables as I can, because my granddad was a professional gardener and it's in the blood. Grew really good chilies this year.

"I'm not really good at fun-to-know, human interest stuff. We're not ‘celebrities', whose life itself is a performance. Good or bad or ugly, we are our words. They're what people meet.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence David John Pratchett
    2. Hometown:
      Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
    1. Education:
      Four honorary degrees in literature from the universities of Portsmouth, Bristol, Bath and Warwick

Table of Contents

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First Chapter

The Bromeliad Trilogy: Diggers

Chapter One

I. And in that time were Strange Happenings: the Air moved harshly, the Warmth of the Sky grew Less, on some mornings the tops of puddles grew Hard and Cold.

II. And the nomes said unto one another, What is this Thing?

From The Book of Nome,
Quarries Chap. 1, v. I–II



"Winter," said Masklin firmly. "It's called winter."

Abbot Gurder frowned at him.

"You never said it would be like this," he said. "It's so cold."

"Call this cold?" said Granny Morkie. "Cold? This ain't cold. You think this is cold? You wait till it gets really cold!" She was enjoying this, Masklin noticed; Granny Morkie always enjoyed doom—it was what kept her going. "It'll be really cold then, when it gets cold. You get real frosts and, and water comes down out of the sky in frozen bits!" She leaned back triumphantly. "What d'you think to that, then? Eh?"

"You don't have to use baby talk to us." Gurder sighed. "We can read, you know. We know what snow is."

"Yes," said Dorcas. "There used to be cards with pictures on, back in the Store. Every time Christmas Fayre came around. We know about snow. It's glittery."

"You get robins," agreed Gurder.

"There's, er, actually there's a bit more to it than that," Masklin began.

Dorcas waved him into silence. "I don't think we need to worry," he said. "We're well dug in, the food stores are looking satisfactory, and we know where to go to get more if we need it. Unless anyone's got anything else to raise, why don't we close the meeting?"

Everything was going well. Or, at least, not very badly.

Oh, there was still plenty of squabbling and rows between the various families, but that was nomish nature for you. That's why they'd set up the Council, which seemed to be working.

Nomes liked arguing. At least the Council of Drivers meant they could argue without hitting one another—or hardly ever.

Funny thing, though. Back in the Store, the great departmental families had run things. But now all the families were mixed up and, anyway, there were no departments in a quarry. But by instinct, almost, nomes liked hierarchies. The world had always been neatly divided between those who told people what to do and those who did it. So, in a strange way, a new set of leaders was emerging.

The Drivers.

It depended on where you had been during the Long Drive. If you were one of the ones who had been in the truck cab, then you were a Driver. All the rest were just Passengers. No one talked about it much. It wasn't official or anything. It was just that the bulk of nomekind felt that anyone who could get the Truck all the way here was the sort of person who knew what they were doing.

Being a Driver wasn't necessarily much fun.

Last year, before they'd found the Store, Masklin had to hunt all day. Now he hunted only when he felt like it; the younger Store nomes liked hunting, and apparently it wasn't right for a Driver to do it. They mined potatoes, and there'd been a big harvest of corn from a nearby field, even after the machines had been round. Masklin would have preferred them to grow their own food, but the nomes didn't seem to have the knack of making seeds grow in the rock-hard ground of the quarry. But they were getting fed, that was the main thing.

Around him he could feel thousands of nomes living their lives. Raising families. Settling down.

He wandered back to his own burrow, down under one of the derelict quarry sheds. After a while he reached a decision and pulled the Thing out of its own hole in the wall.

None of its lights were on. They wouldn't go on until it was close to electricity wires, when it would light up and be able to talk. There were some in the quarry, and Dorcas had got them working. Masklin hadn't taken the Thing to them, though. The solid black box had a way of talking that always made him unsettled.

He was pretty certain it could hear, though.

"Old Torrit died last week," he said after a while. "We were a bit sad but, after all, he was very old and he just died. I mean, nothing ate him first or ran him over or anything."

Masklin's little tribe had once lived in a highway embankment beside rolling countryside that was full of things that were hungry for fresh nome. The idea that you could die simply of not being alive anymore was a new one to them. "So we buried him up on the edge of the potato field, too deep for the plow. The Store nomes haven't got the hang of burial yet, I think. They think he's going to sprout, or something. I think they're mixing it up with what you do with seeds. Of course, they don't know about growing things. Because of living in the Store, you see. It's all new to them. They're always complaining about eating food that comes out of the ground; they think it's not natural. And they think the rain is a sprinkler system. I think they think the whole world is just a bigger store. Um."

He stared at the unresponsive cube for a while, scraping his mind for other things to say.

"Anyway, that means Granny Morkie is the oldest nome," he said eventually. "And that means she's entitled to a place on the Council even though she's a woman. Abbot Gurder objected to that, but we said, All right, you tell her, and he wouldn't, so she is. Um."

The Bromeliad Trilogy: Diggers. Copyright © by Terry Pratchett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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