by Karen Thompson Walker
The disease had a fancy name, but everyone called it the "syndrome;" it was what happened to some as a result of the "slowing." No one knew the Earth's rotation changed until scientists announced the day had increased by nearly one hour. No one would suspect that the duration of a day would continue to grow while the rotation's slowing persisted. But sixth-grade would not stop for anyone, not even for Julia. Bullies, homework, and the gorgeous Seth Moreno weighed on her, but nothing, not even the slowing, would compare to what would happen to her mom, dad, and grandfather that year. Everything changed.
Apt to enthrall readers of all ages, this young adult novel plums life's hardships, first-love, and sixth-grade from the perspective of a reflective young lady named Julia, not to mention the magnanimous calamity that befalls the planet. Walker fascinates and enraptures the mind in an emotional and imaginative journey. The accuracy of the science lends credence to the novel's disastrous setting--the slowing of the Earth's rotation upon its axis and the subsequent increase in the length of a day. Her characters' reactions, from neighbors to politician's, are grounded in plausible, if not probable, realities. While the terrible results of the Earth's slowing permeate every chapter, Julia's life goes on. Her thoughts and unstoppable experiences will keep readers turning pages.
Clearly written with the young adult in mind, the storyline's richness will stimulate maturer hearts. A quick read, worth every second, readers may feel like time stops while lost in its pages.
2012, Random House/The Random House Publishing Group, Ages 11 to 18, $26.00 (Hardcover). Young Adult.