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The Power of Un

by Nancy Etchemendy

School Library Journal : Gr 4-8-Who wouldn't want the ability to undo a mistake, an accident, or even a tragedy, after it happens? Once he has the Unner, a makeshift creation of old parts and electronic gizmos, middle-schooler Gib Finney has that power, but first he has to figure out how to use it. His practice time is suddenly cut short when his little sister is hit by a truck and ends up in a life-threatening coma. If the Unner really works, it could save Roxy's life, but there could be far-reaching consequences to rearranging links on the chain of time, and Gib is just beginning to realize how interconnected they are. The setting could be any small town in America, some decades ago. Most of the characters neatly fit stereotypes common to such settings-the happy nuclear family, loyal best friend, mysterious carnival fortune-teller, and more. While Gib is the only fully developed character, the unique and interesting plot featuring a practical look at the possibilities and results of planned time travel make up for the otherwise shallow characterizations. As the story gathers speed, suspense builds to a surprising and satisfying conclusion with room for more than one sequel. The book's themes and plot twists take it beyond the conventional, resulting in a delightfully thought-provoking science-fiction story.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA

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