Thundershine: Tales of Metakids

David Skinner, Author
David Skinner, Author Simon & Schuster $15 (128p) ISBN 978-0-689-80556-1
Reviewed on: 05/31/1999
Release date: 06/01/1999
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Readers may experience the sensation of entering the ""Twilight Zone"" when they open this volume featuring ""metakids,"" junior-high aged children with unusual superpowers. Skinner (The Wrecker) clearly enjoys twisting laws of physics and stretching the limits of logic, but his point is often cloudy in these four short stories. Jenny of ""As True as She Wants It"" can change the structure of buildings, streets and towns--she even moves Egypt into Canada--by inventing a special brand of fictional maps. Oddly enough, no one except her best friend, Laurie, seems to notice. The characters in ""Walk This Way"" can ""bop"" (travel through space in a flash), merely by concentrating on their destination; the narrator is consequently obsessed with learning why it is that Mae foots it the old-fashioned way. In the third tale, Dexter Rigato, known as ""Poof Poof Ya,"" can transform his thoughts into graffiti without the use of a brush or spray can. The final selection, ""Meta Human,"" eschews the inanity of the previous three. The darkest and most fully developed selection in the collection, the story probes into the sources, repercussions and ethics of supernatural abilities. Here, a group of metakids must decide whether or not to use their power to restore the life of a dying child. On balance, this book may tickle the fancies of some science fiction buffs, but they will likely find a stumbling block in the author's shaky appraisal of youngsters overstepping their bounds. Ages 10-14. (June)
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