Olivetti (Hardcover)

Olivetti By Allie Millington Cover Image
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March/April 2024 Kids Indie Next List

Olivetti completely blew me away. Deeply beautiful prose frames this emotional journey of a typewriter and the humans who love him. An absolute must-read for readers of all ages. It made me laugh, cry, and feel grateful to be a human being.”
— Hannah Kerbs, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN


A heartfelt novel praised by Tom Hanks in the New York Times as including "a conclusion nearly impossible to divine and yet so perfect it includes that most tactile of memories..."

Being a typewriter is not as easy as it looks. Surrounded by books (notorious attention hogs) and recently replaced by a computer, Olivetti has been forgotten by the Brindle family—the family he’s lived with for years. The Brindles are busy humans, apart from 12-year-old Ernest, who would rather be left alone with his collection of Oxford English Dictionaries. The least they could do was remember Olivetti once in a while, since he remembers every word they’ve typed on him. It’s a thankless job, keeping memories alive.

Olivetti gets a rare glimpse of action from Ernest’s mom, Beatrice—his used-to-be most frequent visitor—only for her to drop him off at Heartland Pawn Shop and leave him helplessly behind. When Olivetti learns Beatrice has mysteriously gone missing afterward, he believes he can help find her. He breaks the only rule of the “typewriterly code” and types back to Ernest, divulging Beatrice’s memories stored inside him.

Their search takes them across San Francisco—chasing clues, maybe committing a few misdemeanors. As Olivetti spills out the past, Ernest is forced to face what he and his family have been running from, The Everything That Happened. Only by working together will they find Beatrice, belonging, and the parts of themselves they’ve lost.

About the Author

Allie Millington first wrote Olivetti on her own antique typewriter, who turned out to have an awful lot to say. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and their fluffy dog, Crumpet. You can frequently find her doodling in her writing shed, or foraging in the woods.

Praise For…

An Instant USA Today Bestseller!
An Instant Indies Bestseller!
Top 10 Mysteries & Thrillers for Youth, Booklist

"Millington’s writing does us a great favor. Her Olivetti is neither an automaton nor a pushover — there is a painful and problematic crisis in the house he has called home and his voice drives the action with compassion.
Ernest speaks with a confusion and simmering panic recognizable to anyone who was once 12, loved their mother deeply and feared for her life... The Brindles will go on confronting “Everything,” with hope, gusto and all the unity they can muster. They will set the family table for seven, with a place for Olivetti; put paper in his carriage, and wait." -- Tom Hanks in the New York Times Book Review

An introverted boy and his missing mother’s cherished typewriter plumb forgotten family stories while journeying toward acceptance in this touching middle-grade mystery. Offering a Where’d You Go, Bernadette vibe, with its unspooling of a youth perspective on the adult world, this melancholic yet hopeful pick will appeal to fans of books with nonhuman protagonists and readers who enjoy emotional stories with alternating perspectives, such as A Rover’s Story and The Lost Library."--Booklist magazine, starred review

"★Debut author Millington skillfully delivers a complex storyline that deals with heavy topics. With plenty of quotable wisdom, richly textured language, and dry humor, this work reads like a classic."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"An ideal pick for readers looking for both honesty and hope."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)

"A lively and tender story about language, archive, and family history, ­Millington’s debut will keep young readers on their toes. ... Formatted in alternating chapters between Ernest and Olivetti’s points of view, readers will be ­delighted by the book’s playfulness, as well as its bittersweet look at the power of memory, and how a family can be broken and then healed. A quirky, heartfelt novel."--School Library Journal

[A] unique debut. Despite the recent appearance of a laptop (“the glossy show-off”), Olivetti has accumulated “an endless amount of memories” working with owner Beatrice. His patient existence is upended when he’s abruptly sold to a pawn shop and Beatrice goes missing... Olivetti’s snarky observations entertain, and the human protagonists’ endearing support for each other’s endeavors paints a worthwhile portrait of community."--Publishers Weekly

Parents need to know that Olivetti, by first-time author Allie Middleton, is an emotional, heartfelt tale of love, family, and friendship in scary times. ... There's a strong message that life is going to dish out some bad things along the way, and sticking together is what helps you deal with them.--Common Sense Media

Ernest is a memorable character in an equally memorable family."--The Horn Book Magazine

“A lovable introvert, a typewriter with a lot to say, and an irresistible mystery come together to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.”
–Molly Olivo, bookseller at Child’s Play, Washington, D.C.

"This inventive, clever, well-paced middle-grade novel will type its way right into your heart!"
--Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250326935
ISBN-10: 1250326931
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English