Sunday, April 5, 2009

Booklist (October 15, 2008 (Vol. 105, No. 4))
Grades 5-8. This book expands upon the premise of The Glitch in Sleep (2007), in which a mirror world called the Seems constructs and maintains the machinery that governs our own, with a massive bureaucracy charged with everything from keeping the Seconds rolling along smoothly to painting properly glorious sunsets and delivering Little Unplanned Changes of Kismet (L.U.C.K.). When a rebel organization plants a Time Bomb that threatens to destroy the inner workings of our universe, Becker Dran, the talented, teenage “Fixer,” finds himself in desperate need of help to set things right. With increasingly severe time storms wreaking havoc worldwide, it looks like only the elusive Time Being herself has the power to help; can Becker track her down and persuade her to lend a hand? Yes, as it turns out, and no. This sequel continues to develop a truly ingenious setting while proving every bit as much of a nail-biter as the first. Becker and his allies come through in the end, but the close brings signs of impending disaster on an even vaster scale. Stay tuned.

The Real Princess: A Mathemagical Tale

School Library Journal (June 1, 2008)
Gr 1-4-Three princes, Primo, Secundo, and Terzo, are in need of brides, but only the oldest must find a real princess-one fit to be the next queen. When two bedraggled young women arrive during storms, Secundo and Terzo become enamored of them, and marry them even though they are not quite real-they do not feel the gold peas that the queen has placed under many mattresses. Finally a real princess's sleep is disturbed by the presence of a solitary pea. The king and queen have parted with all of their gold, but that solitary pea provides them with a fresh source of income. The story, referred to as a traditional tale rather than attributed to Hans Christian Andersen, is liberally laced with numbers, all highlighted by a different font. Children can count the windows in the castle, add up the number of servants, determine how much gold is remaining, and perform other tasks suggested at the back of the book. The text flows nicely and the illustrations, done in acrylics and collaged papers, are intricately detailed and will invite children to pore over them repeatedly. A nice twist on the original with opportunities for readers to interact with the text.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.