People used to call them ‘friends’ and said how they were good for your brain. And then a day came when all that changed . . . when they became our enemy.
Now, anyone found harbouring a rogue imaginary person is in for the Cosh, an operation that fries your imagination and zaps whatever’s in there, out of existence.
That’s why I wish Klaris Cliff had never shown up. And why I know that proving her innocence is the last hope I have of saving myself.
FEBRUARY’S DEBUT AUTHOR REVIEW:
WHO FRAMED KLARIS CLIFF? by NIKKI SHEEHAN
Published by Oxford University Press, 6 February 2014
All books are wonderful, but some books are more wonderful than others. For me, Who Framed Klaris Cliff? is one such book.
The concept of a society where imaginary friends pose such a threat they must be systematically ‘Cosh’-ed, leaving their child hosts without the imagination to conjure up future companions, instantly shot this to the top of my ‘must read in 2014’ list. And I wasn’t disappointed. I loved everything about this book.
The mystery element is well-plotted and gripping. 13 year-old Joseph and his best friend’s eccentric younger brother, Flea, have less than a week to prove their imaginary friend, Klaris, hasn’t gone ‘rogue’. If they fail to convince the authorities Klaris is innocent of all charges then they are both headed for the Cosh. The plot developments are creative and original and the final twist, when it comes, provides that perfect blend of surprise and satisfaction.
But this is more than just a well-paced detective story. Who Framed Klaris Cliff? is also a beautifully written exploration of imagination and individuality, and of love and loss. Sheehan’s depiction of Joseph’s relationship with his father as the two of them try to deal with the unexplained disappearance of Joseph’s mother is particularly touching. One minute you’ll be laughing along with the book’s complex characters and the next minute you want to grab them and give them a great big squeeze. Because you really care what happens to these people.
From the moment I picked up Who Framed Klaris Cliff? I’ve been recommending it to everyone I meet. I don’t see how anyone could fail to love this story. Described as ‘for age 12+’, this is a children’s book adults will love. I certainly did. And it is written with such clarity and skill that it also has a lot to give younger readers like my nine year-old son.
All in all, a wonderful, magical tale that will stay with you long after you put it down.
My son (age 9) also read Who Framed Klaris Cliff? and loved it too. Here is his review:
If you are planning to read Who Framed Klaris Cliff? get ready to have your mind blown. LITERALLY.
I liked the book because it was one of the first times I have read a book with so much imagination. At the back of the book I learnt the writer got the idea from Japanese folklore, which is preeeeetty cool!
I’m baffled by the idea that imaginary people can hurt others. Maybe that’s how the apocalypse will start…? Probably not though. Still it’s good to be prepared.
It’s a good mystery. My only complaint is that in the first chapters it doesn’t give many details and you want to know more about who these imaginary people are and what they’ve done wrong.
From the characters I like Flea the most – he doesn’t care what people think of him and he just does his own thing. He is 2 KEWL 4 SKOOL!
I’ve never had an imaginary friend, but I would be interested if someone else did. Not my sister though. My sister’s imaginary friend would be annoying, and I bet she would tell it to eat all my biscuits… somehow.
My mum told me I would like this book. I wasn’t sure so I agreed to read the first 50 pages so she would stop talking about it. I did and I thought – what the heck just happened? – so I had to keep on reading so I could figure everything out. And it was brilliant. Really brilliant. Sometimes my mum is right about things.
I have never read a book like this before. I bet you have never read a book like this before. WELL YOU SHOULD NOW!!!
If you want to find out more about the lovely Nikki Sheehan, check out our interview with her on Book Walrus, where these reviews have appeared previously.