Author(s): Russell Hoban
From the incomparable Russell Hoban comes a moving, unflinching tale of a boy who finds bravery during illness, beautifully re-imagined as a graphic-novel by award-winning illustrator Alexis Deacon. Asleep in his hospital bed, Jim dreams of a great lion with white teeth and amber eyes. This lion is Jim's finder. According to Nurse Bami, everyone has a finder, a creature who comes looking for us when we are lost. But when the time comes for Jim's operation, will his lion be able to find him and bring him safely home? With the inclusion of powerful dream sequences, and a triumphant message of facing one's fears, Russell Hoban's tale of a boy's search for strength and courage will resonate with any child dealing with adversity or sickness.
A boy is seriously ill in hospital, and fearful of the operation that may or may not save his life. A nurse tells him he must find in his dreams his animal ‘finder’, which will protect him and bring him back from wherever his illness and the doctors take him. In dream and in delirium, and wherever the mind goes when under anaesthetic, Jim and his lion help each other overcome a series of symbolic entities and dangers, mapping out for us a kind of understory to the clinically observable disease and treatment. Some of Jim’s experiences reminded me of when I was once delirious with fever and ‘saw’ the disease I was subject to as a vast crystalline being looming in the corner of the room. Hoban’s poetic story of illness overcome has been wonderfully captured and extended by Deacon’s powerful and imaginative illustrations, which construct, out of ludicrous and frightening fragments, a picture of a young mind grappling at the deepest level with agents that seek its extinction. Hoban and Deacon first collaborated on the memorable Soonchild, the last book Hoban wrote before his death in 2011. - Thomas
Russell Hoban was the renowned author of many famous novels, including Turtle Diary (which was made into a film starring Ben Kingsley and Glenda Jackson) and Riddley Walker, which won the John W. Campbell Award for science fiction. He also wrote over 50 children's books, including such classics as The Mouse and His Child, Bedtime for Frances, How Tom Beat Captain Najork and The Sea-Thing Child. Born in Pennsylvania in 1925, he moved to London in 1969, and spent the rest of his life there.