Sunday, March 20, 2022

Review: Journey to the Parallels by Marcie Roman

I'm a little late today, but better late than never, right? The sun is shining, and I'm behind on my garden work. Since it's suppose to rain again tomorrow, I had to head out and make some progress on a rock garden I'm building for drainage purposes. Doesn't that sound fun? At least, I can treat myself to a huge bowl of chocolate ice cream tonight and not feel even a tiny bit guilty after the digging and rock moving.'s read has such a wonderful surmise! It's about a brother and sister, whose mother suddenly acts stranger than usual. They discover a window to a parallel universe and have all sorts of adventures. I was excited to read this one, and I think it is worth picking up.

But to know more, head down to the review! 

by Marcie Roman
Fitzroy Books
Middle Grade Fantasy
172 pages
ages 8 to 12

MAY 22nd!!!

Twelve-year-old Amber has the ordinary problems of a seventh grader: strained friendships, an annoying younger brother and, ugh, why can’t her unconventional mother just act normal for once? When her wish comes true, Amber suspects it’s not just her mother’s behavior that’s changed, but her actual mother! So where did her real mother go? Amber puts her best investigative efforts to work and discovers that one of her mother’s silly claims—that they can view a parallel world in the window of an old industrial building—might not be so silly after all. Amber reminds us that everyone, including mathematically-challenged tweens with friend and family issues, has within them the power to effect change.



This book sweeps the reader up into a world, which hinges closely on reality and lets the fantasy trickle in.

Amber's having a rough go at school, since her two best friends are suddenly whispering behind her back. They're shutting her out and making fun of her, and she's not really sure what to do about it. When her mother picks her and her brother, Beetle, up from school, life begins to twist in odd ways. The woman in her car, although looking like her mother, acts completely different. She cooks, she cleans, and she even brushes her hair. The oddities stack, one right after the other, until it's clear that this is not their scattered-brained mother. Plus, they're receiving strange notes in their lunches, which claim they are running out of time. When they discover a window in an old warehouse, which leads to a parallel universe, the adventure begins.

I had no trouble reading this one in a single setting. The first chapter hooks, and the pacing remains high the entire way through. Amber is a girl, who doesn't easily give in. Nor does she let things get to her right away. She's tough in her own way, makes mistakes, and does long for her family to get back together. It's no problem to root for her and understand her decisions the entire way through.

This tale does hold an interesting parallel world, and the leaping between the two adds exciting twists to the story. It's hard to guess what will happen next. But what really won me over was the well-done weave of reality with fantasy. Amber faces realistic problems at school and home. She does her best to handle them, but also has a lot to learn. She rebels, and yet, doesn't ignore rules....just tests them. The parallel world peaks the imagination and adds a bit of mystery with a good amount of tension. But this also strengthens Amber's own character arc as she learns what could be improved in her own life, and which things are more valuable than she realized.

It's a great read for fun, for classrooms, for discussions, and more. So, yes, I do recommend this one.

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

That's a fascinating premise to explore. What kid doesn't occasionally wish their parents were different. Sounds like a case of "Be careful what you wish for!"