The Doom Machine
- black holes
- dysfunctional families
- girl power
- New York
- older readers
- outer space
- racial differences
- science fiction
- single parent
- solar system
- time travel
- Wild Thing/Annie Oakley/Mirette
Time: 1956. Place: Vern Hollow, New York. Jack Creedle, former juvenile delinquent and mechanical whiz kid in his Uncle Bud’s garage, lives in a sleepy town. While delivering newspapers one morning, Jack hears a strange sound and sees a green star in the sky that turns into a flying saucer. At the same time, serious young science student, Isadora Shumway, arrives in town with her scientist mother on the way back from a Chemistry Society Conference in Utica. Their car breaks down, and Jack thinks he can fix it. Isadora and her mother find lodging in Jack’s mother’s boarding house, and the kids’ lives collide in ways neither of them could have ever imagined. News of the spaceship spreads like wildfire through town, and the two investigate. They discover that alien spider-shaped skreeps are on the prowl, looking for a special device. What is it and why look in Vern Hollow? In a page-turner that includes aliens, cops, scientists, kids, and bullies, Jack and Isadora pit their wits and intellects against greedy, planet-destroying aliens and the physics of the time/space continuum. Offset by black and white acrylic drawings, the text moves rapidly. The challenge for readers is to keep track of the physics of time travel, the cast of aliens and their dialects, and the deviousness of the villains.
This book is a GREAT choice for true sci-fi fans. Teague has melded high-tech gadgetry with a touch of quantum physics into a breathless read full of twists and turns. Interestingly, Teague created a female protagonist who is biracial and dialogs the questioning of Isadora’s parentage and skin color. 320 pages Ages 10-15
Older reader due in part to language.
If you liked Akiko, Billy Clikk, Outernet (series), Trapped: The 2031 Journal of Otis Fitzmorgan (Crime through time series)
Recommended by Shari Shaw, Library Media Specialist, Livonia, MI.