£6.99 Nosy Crow Check out the link: you can read the first chapter!
Cover artwork and chapter openers: Matt Saunders
Interior illustrations: Spike Gerrell
The synopsis from Nosy Crow:
When Albie’s mum dies, it’s natural he should wonder where she’s gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about Albie’s mum being alive and with them in a parallel universe. So Albie finds a box, his mum’s computer and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space to find her…
So what did I think?
Radioactive bananas and quantum entanglement!
I read the first chapter of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright to my 11 year old, but he wasn’t content with that: he snatched the book from me, and read the rest to himself. The next morning he declared, “I need to find out everything about quantum physics now!” So technically I should be blaming Christopher Edge for my chronic brain ache (after being bombarded with endless questions on Really Big topics)…but I’ll forgive him seeing as I enjoyed the book so much myself.
As Albie misses his mum, he stumbles across a way to travel between universes; always hoping to find her. Albie is a hugely likeable character, and easy to empathise with. The funny, everyday dilemmas he faces (both in his world and in the parallel universes) are full of laugh out loud moments. The story makes us question our personal beliefs about our own place in the history of time, and what it means to be part of this only-partially- comprehensible universe.
There’s a lot of science in this book, yes. But it’s conveyed in a light and completely readable way (in the same way that I can understand what Brian Cox is explaining on tv, unlike my science teachers at school). But of course there’s a fair sprinkling of artistic embellishment too. I love the fact that this book has a science focus: it’s too rare in fiction for 9-12s. My son was really excited by the whole premise, and I think it’s the perfect book for kids who love Minecraft, watching Doctor Who and conducting messy science experiments.
You’ll love this if you enjoyed A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson or Danny, The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl.
There’s a great interview with Christopher Edge over at Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books, by the way.