The Kid Who Got Zapped Through Time

Deborah Scott, Author
Deborah Scott, Author Avon Books $14 (160p) ISBN 978-0-380-97356-9
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-380-72850-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-15602-8
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This tepid work of cyber-fiction transports 13-year-old Flattop Kincaid to 12th-century England by means of a computer adventure game. After the grumpy protagonist buys ""Days and Knights"" from a wizard in disguise at a swap meet, he finds himself working the fields with serfs, fighting the Robber King and being a guest of honor at a medieval banquet. Two parts history lesson and one part science fiction, debut novelist Scott's adventure emphasizes the conditions of life in the Middle Ages, showing how people ate, bathed, slept and urinated. Flattop sees both the extreme poverty of a kindly serf family, who eats from unwashed bowls and sleeps five to a bed, and the relative wealth of Lord Hemstead's castle, where the boy learns about the sacrifices involved in becoming a knight: ""Chivalry meant you couldn't burp and sing `Happy Birthday' at the same time."" Having learned to appreciate vegetables, schoolwork, plumbing and his parents, the boy is returned home, where he's been asleep in front of the computer all along. Or has he? Aspiring Lancelots may be disappointed at the focus on domestic life, and junior hackers will find little computer wizardry here, but the history-minded may appreciate the details. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)
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