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If you are reading this, you're a genius.

Is that true? Who knows! But it sounds good. So does:

This book is better than ice cream, television, and your birthday combined!

The Facttracker is full of such statements. Unfortunately, most of them are lies, which is odd, since Traäkerfaxx is the town that ...

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If you are reading this, you're a genius.

Is that true? Who knows! But it sounds good. So does:

This book is better than ice cream, television, and your birthday combined!

The Facttracker is full of such statements. Unfortunately, most of them are lies, which is odd, since Traäkerfaxx is the town that produces all of the world's facts.

So how can a story about a bizarre town with a weird name become

The greatest novel ever written?

Dinosaurs would help. Or maybe aliens. Alien dinosaurs would be dynamite! Alas, we have none of those. Here's what we do have: the Facttracker, who tracks all the facts in Traäkerfaxx. The just small enough boy, who lost all his facts. And Ersatz, but the less said about him the better. And, of course, there are lots and lots of facts and lies, such as:

This book will make you good-looking and popular!

Was that a fact or a lie? For the answer, read on and encounter adventure, peril, and even more

Large, oversized words!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
The citizens of Traakerfax have always made their living by selling facts—facts that are tracked by the resident Facttracker and shipped by the townspeople to whoever wants to buy them, but all of that is about to change. An accidental explosion, triggered by the "just small enough" boy, destroys the Factory, and the seed of truth, the thing at the heart of all facts and the foundation of the Factory, is lost. The economy of Traakerfax is in disarray, but disarray can be a golden opportunity for some. Enter Ersatz, the oily twin brother of the Facttracker, who assures the Traakerfaxians that he can save their town with a brand new industry—lies! "But aren't lies bad? Aren't they hideous and socially unacceptable things to be avoided at all costs?" Not at all. Everyone knows that "lies are just facts with more personality, and they're far less work too." All too soon, Ersatz has seized the seed of truth, which is also at the heart of all lies. He imprisons the Facttracker and replaces the Factory with the Liebrary, a magnificent edifice where lies are spewed out, sold, and delivered by the Phony Express. It seems that only the "just small enough" boy can set things right. It is up to him to find a way to rescue the Facttracker, recover the seed of truth, and defeat Ersatz before the billionth lie irrevocably changes the world forever. This is an extraordinarily imaginative tale, clever, playful, and witty, with an excellent message about the nature of lies and truth. There is enough silliness and action to keep younger readers turning the pages, and it is sophisticated enough to be thoroughly enjoyed by teens and adults. The book would make an unusual but appropriate additionto reading lists for any curriculum that touches upon propaganda and advertising. Reading this book is pure fun. It is highly recommended for everyone and is illustrated with black and white drawings. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5- The Facttracker, who "finds, collects, and keeps track of the world's facts," lives in a hilltop Factory in Traäkerfaxx. The town's residents make their living by selling these facts to people who want them. A "just small enough boy," an orphan, lives nearby in a doghouse donated by the mayor. He has no name because the bundle of facts about him that his parents had purchased when he was born rolled away, taking his parents with it. Immediately after the Facttracker and the boy befriend one another, the Factory explodes. The Facttracker's nefarious twin brother, Ersatz, arrives on the scene, convinces the townspeople to start a new economy based on selling lies, and builds a "Liebrary" to churn them out. With the Facttracker imprisoned by his brother, it's up to the boy to set things right. The author's tone and theme are reminiscent of Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth (Knopf, 1961), but without that novel's sparkle and wit. The chapters have amusing titles, and the narrator often addresses readers directly, but these devices don't redeem what is essentially a book with very little plot and action. In the end, Ersatz and his Liebrary are vanquished and the boy finds his place in the world, but readers won't much care.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"The true test of any society isn't how many lies it has; it's how many lies it believes." For the town of Traakerfaxx, truth is a way of life. The residents dutifully sell facts that have been located and collected by the resident Facttracker and everyone has loads of facts about themselves available as well. Everyone, that is, except the "just small enough boy," whose facts and parents were both lost when he was just a babe. When an unfortunate incident involving the Facttracker, the boy and an explosion renders the town factless, in waltzes the Facttracker's no-good brother Ersatz, convincing the town to sell lies instead. Now the just small enough boy must find a way to defeat this slick villain before Ersatz's dangerous Liebrary hurts the world irredeemably. The book proves cleverer than its concept, balancing child-friendly writing with sophisticated undercurrents. Best of all, the intrusive narrator does not test the reader's patience. The entire enterprise is, quite simply, pure unadulterated fun. Recommended for any and all. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060564346
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/29/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Carter Eaton

Jason carter Eaton was born in several small towns throughout the United States and one in Ireland. He is the author of the picture book The Day My Runny Nose Ran Away, which most children thought was a funny story, though it was actually a tragic autobiography. Jason also edited Professor P. S. Schackman's informative book How to Keep Tuna Fish in Your Pocket for Weeks and Weeks Without it Going Bad. Jason currently lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York, with his beautiful wife, Lisa, their perfect son, Milo, and a giant Newfoundland mix, Pushkin. There's also a cat somewhere.

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Read an Excerpt

The Facttracker

Chapter One

Everyone Loves a Good Explosion

A fictitious friend of mine once told me, "Everyone loves a good explosion." Sadly, he told this to me just moments before he himself exploded, but it was good advice nonetheless.

So let's begin with an explosion.

There was a sound—not quite a ka-boom, but not quite a ker-pow either. More like a ka-blooey. Then there were the flames—deep yellow, furious red, electric blue, and, of course, lots and lots of orange. And let's not forget about the heat—like a thousand suns crammed into a pizza oven wearing a giant wool sweater. And finally the debris—first came the metal, all twisted and glowing. Then the bits of plastic, which had melted into globs of sticky, scalding goop. And lastly the facts, millions of them, shooting off into the far corners of the sky like a tremendous meteor shower, except in reverse.

I'll pause now, since I'm sure you're saying, "Wait. Facts? Did you say . . . facts?" To which I say, "Yes, facts."

Which of course leads to the logical next question: What could possibly blow up that would send facts into the sky?

Well, you'll have to wait for that. There's a whole book to get through here, and you don't want to know everything in the first chapter. I mean, you haven't even heard about the Facttracker or the just small enough boy.

But wasn't the explosion cool?

The Facttracker. Copyright © by Jason Eaton. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    Well Written, Very Funny, Original

    Jason Eaton has crafted a children's book with a hilarious, playful voice that encourages young readers and engages older ones. Filled with creative and surprising wordplay and subtle sophistication, the story is original yet calls upon the best traditions of children's literature. Most importantly, it's a whole, whole lot of fun with a message about the nature of lies that always holds true whether you're 8 or 80. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2008

    Every CEO in america should read this book!

    This is the most entertaining and imaginative book, not only for children but for parents and grandparents to read to their children. The underlying current teaches values without preaching. It should be required reading for all politicans and CEO's or corporate America.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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