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.
In this third volume in Pratchett's Bromeliad Trilogy, three "nomes" travel from England to Florida (with plenty of humorous misadventures along the way) to try to send their computer-like "Thing" off on the space shuttle to contact the "Ship" which originally brought nomes to Earth 15,000 years ago. Pratchett's nomes bear striking similarities to Mary Norton's borrowers: both are races of tiny people who live around the margins of human civilization, trying to avoid ever being seen by humans, and surprised to find that humans don't view themselves as existing only to service the needs of nomes/borrowers. The story makes frequent references to events of the first two books and does not completely stand alone for those who have not been following the nomes' adventures from the beginning. But the reason to read on is Pratchett's consistently funnyand often wryly wisevoice. Every page has some hilarious and deliciously ridiculous line: "[The tree frogs] crawled onward. They didn't know the meaning of the word 'retreat.' Or any other word." The long-necked turtle is lucky in "having a long neck like that and being called a long-necked turtle. It'd be really awkward having a name like that if it had a short neck." And there are also wonderful insights into the nome-ishand humanneed for faith in something beyond themselves: "It's a big world. You need someone really ready to believe." Pratchett offers an appealing mix of genuine silliness and genuine philosophyunderstanding how the two are sometimes one and the same. 2004 (orig. 1990), HarperTrophy/HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-- The last book of a science-fiction trilogy about four-inch beings who were stranded when their scout ship crashed to earth 15,000 years ago. Truckers (1990) introduced Masklin, leader of a dwindling band of nomes hunting among the hedgerows in modern England. Completely ignorant of their origins, they are guided by a small black box they call ``The Thing,'' which turns out to be a very powerful computer. In Diggers (1991, both Delacorte), they join a group of department-store nomes to live in a quarry. In this last installment, Masklin and friends sneak aboard the Concorde and head for Florida. Their mission: to place The Thing on a communications satellite so it can rouse their waiting mother ship. Nomes are foolishly courageous, companionable, literal and innocent creatures whose repeated misunderstandings confirm readers' sense of smug superiority. The bad puns generated by their mistakes in language may amuse some readers but annoy others. Neither as complex nor interesting as Mary Norton's ``Borrowers'' (Harcourt) or the Lilliputians of T. H. White's Mistress Masham's Repose (Berkley, 1984), Pratchett's creatures enact a blatantly obvious parable of broadening horizons. Yet the conversational style and fast-moving plot make this cheerful, unpretentious tale useful where there is a need for accessible science fiction, or where the previous volumes have been enjoyed.-- Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
The Horn Book
“Fascinating and funny.”
“Witty, funny, wise and altogether delightful.”
“Terry Pratchett has created a wild adventure, a fable, a fantasy, an elegant satire.” Lloyd Alexander
“A wry tongue-in-cheek fantasy…which unhesitatingly lampoons the ingrained habits and complacent attitudes found in any society.”
From the Publisher
"The triumphant conclusion of his 'nome' trilogy." —Independent
"As always (Pratchett) is head and shoulders above even the best of the rest. He is screamingly funny. He is wise. He has style…Splendid" —Daily Telegraph