A stranger comes to the small town of Horshoe, promising rain. A child vanishes. And then another and another. But the townspeople are dazzled by magic mirrors and dreams of a green future. The only one who sees through the stranger's mesmerism is Robert, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A boy who must somehow confront the stranger.
This story was brilliantly paced, chock full of elegant description and the setting was faultlessly authentic. I was immediately sucked in and hung on for the entire ride. The characters popped from the pages (or whatever -- I was reading on my Kindle). Mesmerizing, really. Everyone should read it.
This book has won the 2001 Governor General's Award for Children's Literature, the 2001 Saskatchewan Book Award for Children's Literature, and the 2002 Mr. Christie's Book Award. It was also nominated for the 2004 Edgar Award. If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.
Did I mention he writes while walking on a treadmill? This guy is made of awesome.
*The Fantastical wasn't the name of the workshop. I can't for the life of me remember what it really was...