Friday, September 23, 2022

Today's read... A Long Way from Home by Laura Schaefer

 Today's read sort of fits my life this weekend. We're off on a short road trip to Kentucky and exploring whatever nature has to offer. I prefer hiking vacations, so it's caves, waterfalls, natural bridges, and who knows what else on our schedule. We tend to be a tiny bit spontaneous on the planning end of things, since life never goes as planned, anyway.  In today's read, the main character isn't on a vacation, but she's discovering all sorts of new things. And worlds. Or times?

It promises to be quite the mix and has been getting great reviews. So, let's take a peek!



A LONG WAY FROM HOME
by Laura Schaefer
Carolrhoda Books
Middle Grade Science Fiction
ages 8 to 12


COMING...
OCTOBER 4th!!!

    





Twelve-year-old Abby has a lot to worry about: Climate change. The news. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And now moving to Florida for her mom's new job at an aerospace company.

On the Space Coast, Abby meets two boys, Adam and Bix, who tell her they're a long way from home and need her help. Abby discovers they're from the future, from a time when all the problems of the 21st century have been solved. Thrilled, Abby strikes a deal with them: She'll help them--if they let her come to the future with them. But soon Abby is forced to question her attachment to a perfect future and her complicated feelings about the present
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MY TIDBITS

A girl's worries surrounding family, school, and the state of the world around her smack face-first into the impossibility of time travel and the true meaning of home.

Abby can't help it; she worries. She worries about her mother, who always has her head in her job. She worries about moving to Florida and leaving her best friend behind. She even worries about the way humans mishandle the world and is sure that present-day-life is in fact a dystopia. While trying...or not so much...to handle the move to Florida as best she can, Abby runs into two boys, who obviously need her help. Without a moment's thought, she buys the shakes and takes them to her father's boat, where they can sleep for the night. Little does she realize that when they say that they're far from home, they're speaking of hundreds of years in the future. And if they don't find the person they're searching for, the entire future of the world is at stake.

It took me a little bit to sink into this read, since I was expecting something different, but this 'different' ended up being much better. While this is a time travel read and stays solidly on the science fiction path, it reads with the wonderful subtleness of magical realism. Abby is introduced as a difficult girl, mostly due to her over-excessive worries. Her life is actually very comfortable, her parents have good jobs, and they love her very much. She isn't battling any huge trauma or bullying, but simply is overwhelmed by the negative aspects of the world around her. And yet, she's a very kind and generous person, and that's what lets her amazing friendships blossom and bloom. It was interesting and enjoyable to get to know her, and it does help bring the problem of anxiety down to a level the age group can understand.

While Abby steers the world of time travel and friends from the future, she also has some growing to do herself. These two aspects balance out very well. The tale rolls along at a steady pace, never lagging into boring and sometimes shifting into a quick sprint of action to keep the tension high enough to make the story grab. The three friends are on a time crunch and have a few sticky problems to figure out. Add a touch of first crushes, evil micro aliens, and it's fun. Plus, the family is pulled into this one and shows that even parents have true problems to deal with. Oh, and there's hope as well as not forgetting all the wonderful things life offers now and can in the future if we're willing to work for it.

I can recommend this one and found the way it all comes together original and well done. Not only science fiction fans will want to take a look at this one because it's about so much more. This one is all about hope and not forgetting all the wonderful things life has to offer.



And here she is...


Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida, with her husband and daughter, where she enjoys visiting theme parks and watching rocket launches from her front yard. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and twitter.com/teashopgirl.



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