A well-known literary lion for decades in the adult book world, award-winning and bestselling author Dave Eggers has recently gained visibility in the children’s book world with some recently acclaimed titles. Now he delivers an evocative, classic-feeling adventure tale about a boy and his sword, and how giving away something precious leads to an even more important discovery.

The book, Faraway Things (Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers), is a profound and resonate tale about the reward of letting go, sure to capture the hearts and minds of children of all ages but geared primarily for 4 to 8 year olds.

Lucian’s father called them faraway things, those mysterious objects orphaned upon the windswept shore, their stories long lost in the shroud of ocean fog.

Lucian’s discovery on the beach this particular day though, is no ordinary faraway thing. It’s a cutlass: strong, shiny, and powerful. As its history comes to light, Lucian faces a choice: cling to the sword he loves or accept a gift that shines farther, wider, and deeper than he could have ever dreamed. 

Eggers’ lyrical, descriptive language is complemented by the stunning illustrations of Kelly Murphy. The evocative art is truly magnificent.

In the touching tale, Eggers refers to Lucian’s loss of his father in a simple but poignant reference: “Sleep overtook him, and when he dreamed, he dreamed of his father. He often dreamed of his father, and these dreams stayed with him, and became memories, and these dream-memories became, in Lucien’s mind, almost as real as his real memories, which he worried were fading.”

Reviewers have loved the book:

“Lyrical, descriptive language allows Lucian’s story to gently unfold… [a] beautiful story about adventure and honoring a father’s memory, this is a noteworthy addition to elementary school libraries.”―School Library Journal

“An ingenious choice for a muted palette…[an] evocative picture book bildungsroman with equally atmospheric illustrations.”―Kirkus Reviews

“Sweeping multimedia art by Murphy gives the galleon, its crew, and the ocean grandeur… Eggers tells his swashbuckling yarn with screenplay-like polish that feels just as expansive as Murphy’s art.”―Publishers Weekly

The book was aided by input from the Young Editors Project, a program that invites young readers to see manuscripts in progress.


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Dave Eggers is the award-winning and best-selling author of many books, including the National Book Award finalist A Hologram for the King, as well as books for younger readers including Abner & Ian Get Right-Side Up, What Can a Citizen Do?, Her Right Foot, Tomorrow Most Likely, and The Lifters. He is founder of the independent publishing company McSweeney’s, the college-access non-profit ScholarMatch, and 826 Valencia, a writing center for young people in San Francisco. Visit www.daveeggers.net.

Kelly Murphy has illustrated a number of acclaimed books for children, including the New York Times bestseller and recipient of the E.B. White Read Aloud Aware Masterpiece by Elise Broach and Together We Grow by Susan Vaught. Visit www.kelmurphy.com.