The Carpet People
In The Carpet People, first published in 1971, revised in 1992 and just now crossing the Atlantic, Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men) uses the myth of a diminutive civilization to examine a favorite theme--free will vs. destiny--while offering a dose of witty commentary about the beauty and absurdity of being human.
"In the beginning... there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet, which covered the flatness." The Carpet People live among the Carpet hairs, building villages, cities and empires in the dust. When the Munrung tribe finds its huts demolished by an invisible force called Fray (which behaves much like a vacuum cleaner), residents pack up what's left and flee. Before long, they are attacked by mouls, nasty creatures from the Unswept Regions. Led by Snibril, the wise younger brother of the chieftain, and aided by the shaman Pismire, the soldier Bane, and the rather tiny (even for a Carpet person) king Brocando, the Munrungs head for safety in the great city of Ware. But, once there, they must engage in an epic battle to gain control of the course of their own history.
Out of the silliness comes Pratchett-style wisdom for people of all ages. The Carpet People will encourage young readers to think about their own choices. As Snibril asserts, "Nothing has to happen. You can let things happen. But that's not the same." --Lynn Becker, host of Book Talk, the monthly online discussion of children's books for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators