Review posted May 25, 2009.
HarperCollins, 2008. 260 pages.
Reminiscent of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Facttracker tells of the town Traakerfaxx, where the townspeople get Facts from the Facttracker in his Factory and sell them to the world.
One person in Traakerfaxx does not have any facts about himself. A sad and lonely boy lives there. He is small, but not too small. The facts about the just small enough boy were lost shortly after he was born. He has gotten messages that the Facttracker is looking for them, but hasn't heard anything for quite some time.
All is going well until the day of the explosion. That's the day the just small enough boy gets to enter the Factory and meet the Facttracker.
After the Factory explodes (and you wouldn't want me to spoil the surprise and tell you why, would you?), the Facttracker's twin brother Ersatz shows up. Ersatz takes the Seed of Truth and builds, in place of the Factory, a Liebrary. He shows the townspeople and their clever, handsome mayor that lies are a lot more fun to sell than facts.
The Facttracker is imprisioned in the belly of the Liebrary, and it's up to the just small enough boy to save the world.
This book is a lot of silly fun, if you can keep yourself from objecting to the places where the analogy breaks down. If you're willing to take it all with tongue in cheek, you will have plenty to enjoy.
The author is full of authorial asides to the reader and lots of playing with authorial conventions. For example, Chapter 13 has the heading crossed out, with the title, "There Will Not Be a Chapter 13 Because It Might Be Unlucky and the Facttracker Needs All the Luck He Can Get Now."
If you're willing to not take it too seriously, you can have a good deal of fun reading this book.