'Bromeliad Trilogy' Fun and Funny, Too

Article excerpt

Byline: Julia DeCelles-Zwerneman, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

By Julia DeCelles-Zwerneman, age 11

Home-schooled, Falls Church

Imagine a sizable department store like Macy's or Hecht's. It looks pretty normal on the outside: It has glass windows that allow much light into the building and tall pillars that tower over the customers who amble by on their way to one of the many departments. If one looks just a little closer, though, one can see tiny, almost minuscule figures shooting around the humans' legs and shoes.

These are the Store gnomes, who live under the floorboards and in ratholes in Terry Pratchett's "The Bromeliad Trilogy."

These Store gnomes (called "nomes" in the book) call themselves by the departments in which they live, such as the Stationeri or the Millineri. They live in a department store named Arnold Brothers (est. 1905), although they think Arnold Brothers (est. 1905) is the name of some god who created the store for nomes.

Life in the store is good for the Store nomes: They have all the food they want, and they have a roof over their heads.

There are also Outside nomes, who come from outside the store. The Store nomes, thinking that there is no Outside, do not believe in them.

A small band of Outsiders, led by a young nome named Masklin, has just ridden into the store on a truck. They meet up with Angalo, whose father is a duke and who does not believe in the Outside; Dorcas, a nome who is crazy about mechanics; and Gurder, a nome who is from the Stationeri.

However, trouble is brewing for the Store nomes, and they can no longer live in peace. …