Sci Friday - Herbert's Wormhole Review

Welcome back to another edition of Sci Friday!

Today I have a book that's a great starter science fiction for the younger crowd.

Herbert's Wormhole
by Peter Nelson, Rohitash Rao (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published April 25th 2009)
ISBN 0061688681 (ISBN13: 9780061688683)

(acquired during an ebook sale!)

Goodreads Summary: 
Greetings. This story concerns a scientific anomaly that opens a portal, allowing us to traverse the space-time continuum and triggering an adventure that those of limited intelligence might simply describe as "awesome."

Hey This is a book about how we get sucked into this wormhole thingy and it drops us in the future where there's all this really cool futuristic stuff, but also these super-freaky aliens and we mess everything up and have to save the world. How awesome is that?

My Thoughts:
Two voices blend in the narration - one boy who loves science and is constantly inventing and another boy who just wants to get the chance to sit down with his video games again. Their interaction is definitely amusing, and will appeal to elementary age students.

A few snatches of humor:
"And his dad always said, 'A promise is a promise' -- although Alex never really undestood why. A porcupine is a porcupine, too, but people don't go around saying that." (pg 5) 

Kids who are fans of hybrid books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid will find this format accessible. Silly and humorous, with a healthy dose of illustrations, Herbert's Wormhole will still trigger scientific curiosity and excellent discussions. 

Age Range: middle grade readers 

Science Concepts:
Wormholes (with a nice little illustration)
Time Travel
Black Holes
Molecular structure (basics)

Wonders and What Ifs: 
How would we interact with alien life?
What would aliens look like? Would they seem attractive or ugly to us? Would we be attractive or ugly to them? Would we have prejudices against one another based on appearances? 
How might humanity be convinced to get along with an alien race? Would you want to?
What kinds of sports might exist in the future? 

I'm giving it three stars because it was a light little romp, but I do think that Herbert's Wormhole will be a great stepping stone for students who are interested in science fiction but not yet ready for heavier reads. There is a sequel. 


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