Author(s): Lee Battersby
For fans of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, Tinder and David Almond; a haunting tale about accepting the truth about yourself, presented in a gothic gift package. Magrit 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.
Battersby, a well-known sci-fi, fantasy and horror author, has not written explicitly for children in the past, but handles it with deftness and flair, breathing life into the characters and the clever, tangled story. Magrit is an accessible and engaging story for young readers aged nine and up, but also offers depth and opportunities for discussion for teen and adult readers. Books+Publishing
Lee Battersby is the author of several adult novels and over 70 short stories, published in Australia, the US and Europe. His work has been praised for its consistent attention to voice and narrative muscle, and has resulted in a number of awards, including the Aurealis, Australia Shadows and Australia SF "Ditmar" gongs. Lee lives in Western Australia, with his wife, writer Lyn Battersby and an increasingly weird mob of kids. He's been a stand-up comic, tennis coach, cartoonist, poet, and tax officer in previous times, and he currently works as Arts Officer for a local council, where he gets to play with artists all day. Magrit is his first novel with Walker Books.