- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 750L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0439411386
- ISBN-13: 978-0439411387
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Click Hardcover – October 1, 2007
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About the Author
RODDY DOYLE, Booker Prizewinning author of A Star Called Henry; NICK HORNBY, author of High Fidelity; RUTH OZEKI, author of My Year of Meats; MARGO LANAGAN, Prinz Honor awardwinning author of Black Juice; LINDA SUE PARK, Newbery awardwinning author of A Single Shard; DAVID ALMOND, winner of the Whitbread Award and Carnegie Medal and author of Skellig; GREGORY MAGUIRE, author of Wicked; TIM WYNNE-JONES, two-time winner of Canada's Governor General's award and author of One of the Kinder Planets; DEBORAH ELLIS, author of The Breadwinner; and EOIN COLFER, author of the Artemis Fowl books.
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Top Customer Reviews
George Keane Henschler, or "Gee" as he likes to be called, and his granddaughter, Maggie, are the epicenter for all the stories in the book CLICK. The book starts off with a short story by Linda Sue Park. The authors that contributed to this book make up quite an impressive list: Deborah Ellis, Ruth Ozeki, Eoin Colfer, David Almond, Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, Margo Lanagan, and Gregory MacGuire
Parks gets the ball rolling, beginning with Gee's death and how it affects his granddaughter and his grandson, Jason. Maggie was terribly close to him and loved to hear his stories about his adventures as a photojournalist traveling the world. When he dies, he gives her a box with seven compartments holding shells with a note telling her to "throw it back." We learn that this serves as a map for her life's adventures. Jason, on the other hand, is a little bitter after finding out he is adopted and decides to reject his grandfather's gift of photographs and wants to sell them so he can look for his real father. He comes across a letter from Gee when he is about to steal something from him that basically changes his life. Gee knew that Jason had pilfered from him and now wants him to think about the people who love him and the road he is on and where it will lead.
The rest of the stories, all by different authors, take a part of the first story and do their own spin on it. One author chooses to write about how the box came into existence. Another author looks at the name "Keane" and writes a story connecting the family to an Irish Legacy. And still another author continues the story of Maggie - now Margaret- as she nears the end of her own life.
Each story, even though different than the one before, blends into each other almost seamlessly. Read by itself it might just be a bunch of nice short stories, but when all the stories are put together like so in this book it makes you realize that many relationships are circular in nature. Connections people make with random people they meet can have far-reaching effects.
CLICK, besides being interesting, is also benefiting Amnesty International. All royalties from the book will be donated to the group, which serves to protect people's human rights
Reviewed by: coollibrarianchick
I'm a fantasy fan, and I did see a little magical realism here, but what I liked better was the way in which the reality of people's lives was illuminated, as if by a camera's flash, somehow made to seem magical without any need for wizards and spells. Click left me feeling wistful and just a little awed--again, by the people I met in the book rather than by the writing or the writers.
Yes, there's a framing device--a photographer named Gee dies and leaves his two grandchildren a mysterious legacy that leads them to still more mysteries about the man, let alone the world. And I could easily argue that some of the selections are better than others. But who cares? Step into this book and meet people like Annie Lumsden, who might be from the sea, or Jiro, whose brother Taro was crippled by a grenade. Get to know Vinnie ("V") and his prophesying grandma, as well as Lev, a young Russian prisoner who's made a very particular box. Discover Min, who inspires a boy named Jason to make breathtaking use of a huge pile of broken glass.
I'm glad that Amnesty International benefits from the sales of this book, but I'm even more glad that Click shows us something about this world that is dear to my own heart; that is, that each and every life on it, each individual set of worries and mistakes and dreams, each ordinary face--whether captured by a photographer or not--is a treasure beyond price.
The first story sets the tone. In Linda Sue Park's tale, "Maggie," Gee is dead. He was Maggie and Jason's grandfather and worked as a photojournalist, traveling the world. After every grand adventure their grandpa would come back to Maggie and tell her the stories of who he had seen and why he shot their pictures. Now Gee is dead and Maggie can't reconcile herself to this loss. Even though he's left her a puzzle of a last gift, she hardly has the heart to give it the appropriate amount of attention. When at last she does, she finds a beautiful little carved box full of seashells. Seven seashells, in fact, with instructions to "Throw them all back." So begins "Click". From here on in, nine other authors pick up Park's story and run with it. Some of them are far more interested in Gee and his adventures around the globe. Others stick closer to home, looking at Maggie's family and how they mature over weeks, months, and years. And some stories offer a balance of both, showing both familiar and strange faces along the way. The result is a well-rounded series of tales, all that happen to begin and end with the mysterious man who preferred to be known as Gee.
In a way, I would have loved a bit of end matter discussing the degree to which the authors in this book played off of one another. An interview with the authors, perhaps. We know that they all read Ms. Park's initial story and worked from there but to what extent did they ever read one another's stories? Did they discuss ideas to avoid crossover? Did they like what the other authors were coming up with and played off of one another as a result? At first glance this may not appear to be the case, but there were several stories with facts that appeared in one creation only to pop again in the next.
Because the stories flow into one another without any mention of the author's names (except at the beginning in the Table of Contents) you sometimes forget that more than one writer is working on this book. Sometimes. Other times an author's style is so distinctive and biting that you could guess their identity by their prose alone. Listen to this sentence: "There were stares and glares, and pondering and wondering, and medicines and needles, and much talk coming out of many flapping mouths, and much black writing written on much white paper." A closer look at the location of the story alongside the quality of the writing and it's little surprise that this is the work of David Almond. Maybe you'd have more fun reading the book through without constantly glancing back at the list of authors, but I could never do that. And everyone puts in the time. That's nice. I guess the strongest recommendation I can offer is that there isn't a story here I've forgotten. At the same time, I can't really pluck out my favorite. I mean, it's impossible. Perhaps I inclined the most towards with Roddy Doyle and his humor. After all, it's hard to compete with a writer who conjures up a grandmother that started mourning her husband two years before he actually died.
Admittedly, it doesn't always work perfectly. Maggie can seem older in an earlier story and then younger later. Jason's fun, then a punk, and then finally wise. Stories that take place in the future inform you of the fact with a kind of bop-you-over-the-head method. And at the beginning of the book we're told how important the telling of stories is. Then in a later tale the grown Maggie berates her great-niece for "tell[ing] stories." It seems inconsistent more than anything else. Also, I was left wanting after reading Gregory Maguire's final story. It wasn't that he didn't wrap things up. He did. But he offers us a vision of the future that is surprisingly bleak. It doesn't taint the rest of the book, nor is it a bad story. It's a perfectly good tale, all told. It just has a darkness to it that leaves the reader feeling a little morose. It's a world where photography is an art of the past, people are constantly monitored, and Maggie's now a dying dowager with a great-niece for company.
Always fun to guess what the publisher thinks the age range is on this kind of thing. Now there are some mentions of extra-marital affairs and some mild violence (though the guy who gets his big toe stuck in his ear is probably a lot more memorable than the slaps anyone else endures). Scholastic is saying it's 12 and up. 12 and up is probably a very good range, now that I think about it. Younger kids won't get all the references in this book, but there's certainly something here for everyone to enjoy. I've read a lot of short stories in my day, and when they remain as impossible to dislodge from my brain as these are, you know somebody's doing something right. A lovely collection.