The Jamie Drake Equation
by Christoper Edge, published 2017
“I’ve got a doctorate in astrophysics and a black belt in karate,” the woman replies, poking me hard in the chest with her telescope. “So sit down before I knock your block off.”
I hope you can feel the humor in this quote, since moments before, our young hero thought someone had a gun in his back. Who knew it was only a little telescope! This is a sample of many understated but humorous moments in this rather unusual children’s book. On the one hand, it is absolutely geeky. I mean seriously geeky, as there is a fair amount of accurate science. On the other hand, it is totally and fully space fantasy, with little people made of light trying to get back to their planet. In between those two extremes, this children’s book doesn’t miss out on the reality of parents getting divorced, and the effect on children.
The best audience for this children’s book would be readers who like science fiction or space or both. It never leaves either of those two themes. But since I am not a real fan of either, I feel that the book does a great job of making both the subjects readable, and pretty enjoyable.
The audience is middle-school. It doesn’t have to be for boys, but because the main character is a middle-school boy, it certain does have an added appeal to boys, and it can hold their interest easily, as there is some amount of drama that will get their attention. To the author’s credit, the gender issue is balanced with women astrophysicists playing a lead role.