Infestation

Timothy J. Bradley. Scholastic, $5.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-545-45904-4
Nonfiction writer/illustrator Bradley (Paleo Bugs: Survival of the Creepiest) brings a love of science fiction and insects to this hyperbolic adventure, a callback to the monster films of the 1950s, in which juvenile delinquents fight for their lives against giant mutated ants. Twelve-year-old Andy Greenwood has just settled into life at the Reclamation School for Boys in the New Mexico desert when he learns that it used to be a secret testing facility, still full of forgotten chemicals. An earthquake allows hundreds of oversize insects to overrun the school, with Andy part of a small group of survivors. With the help of a visiting entomologist, they launch an explosive campaign against the ants in order to escape. Bradley wastes no time in throwing his characters into the action, nor does he sugarcoat the consequences. The pseudoscience needed to bring his monsters to life and combat them has verisimilitude without bogging down in details. Some plot points and characters are swept to the side in the need to deliver a streamlined story, but the excitement never falters. Ages 8–12. Agent: East West Literary Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/25/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
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