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Narrated by a typewriter

Cover of Olivetti
A review of Olivetti by Allie Millington

Yes, you read that correctly. This novel is narrated by a typewriter. And it is everything I wanted and needed. Also, did you know that books are despised by typewriters because they are attention hogs?!? Makes sense.  

Olivetti is the household typewriter at the Brindle home. The Brindles live in an apartment in San Francisco filled with their large family and pet frogs and lots of love and chaos. One day, Beatrice, the mom, goes missing. In the moments before Beatrice vanishes, she pawns her beloved Olivetti for $126. Twelve-year-old Ernest discovers this while taping up missing person flyers around the neighborhood. A girl named Quinn who works at the pawn shop sees Ernest and recognizes the photo of his mom and the two team up to figure out what happened. Of course their detecting starts with Olivetti and why Beatrice pawned him for $126.

It turns out that Olivetti has a story to tell. All of the words or "tapestries" that Beatrice has typed over the years are saved inside Olivetti. He is able to share them in reverse order with Ernest and Quinn as long as they keep supplying fresh paper. The two lug Olivetti all over the city in a wild goose chase to uncover clues. The plot thickens and Ernest and Quinn find more answers, some of which lead them down a road of tough topics and painful discoveries. This is handled with care and compassion.

The family relationships and charming friendships that develop are worth every minute of heartache and getting to know Olivetti is at the center of it all.  Olivetti is thoughtful, funny, quirky, and an absolute hero.  The magic of storytelling is alive in this stunning middle grade debut. 

Jul 8, 2024