Magrit by Lee Battersby

I don’t often get the chance to read a whole book in a day.  The needs of my family draw me out of a book and I’ll put it down to come back to later.  Sometimes though you start reading a book that so enchants you that you just have to finish it in one go.  You often don’t sense time passing or pages turning.  Magrit by Lee Battersby was one of those books for me.  Once I started I just had to keep reading until the end.

MagritMagrit lives in an abandoned cemetery with her friend and advisor, Master Puppet, whom she built from bones and bits of graveyard junk. She is as forgotten as the tiny graveyard world that surrounds her. One night as Magrit and Master Puppet sit atop of their crumbling chapel, a passing stork drops a baby into the graveyard. Defying Master Puppet s demands that the baby be disposed of, and taking no heed of his dire warnings, Magrit decides to raise the baby herself. She gives him a name: Bugrat. Magrit loves Bugrat like a brother, friend and son all rolled into one. But Master Puppet and the newly discovered skeleton girl know all too well what will happen when Bugrat grows up – that the truth about them all will be revealed. Something Magrit refuses to face.

Magrit is a wonderfully crafted story that is magical, unusual, strange and captivating.  I haven’t read anything quite like it before.  Lee Battersby takes your hand and leads you on a journey with Magrit, to discover the truth about herself.

It was the blurb that grabbed me, as it sounded really intriguing.  It makes you wonder why Magrit lives in an abandoned cemetary, who is Master Puppet, and what will happen to the baby?  It’s the sort of story that you can imagine Tim Burton telling as a film.  Lee gives you lots of little clues throughout the story about the mystery of Magrit and the way in which everything is revealed is so perfect.

The book itself is a thing of beauty, with a cloth-bound hard cover, purple spine and yellow end-papers.  It is illustrated throughout by Amy Daoud.  Amy’s atmospheric silhouette illustrations add to the dark tone of the story.  I love Amy’s extra touches to the book with her lettering and the fantastic chapter headings.  The whole book is a gorgeous production that Walker Books Australia should be proud of.  I would love to see more books like this for kids and teens!

You must get your hands on this book!  It is a must-read book that I’m sure everyone will be talking about.  I’m certain that Magrit is a book that I will come back to again and again.  I will certainly look forward to reading whatever Lee Battersby writes next.


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