Reedy (Words in the Dust) delivers a light story about friendship that wavers between fantasy and small-town realism. Brian has reluctantly left Seattle because his parents have teamed up with an Iowa professor to manufacture an ultra-light polymer dubbed "Plastisteel" under their company name, Synthtech. Showing off on his skateboard, Brian draws unwelcome attention from a bully and is rescued by the son (nicknamed Mad Max) of his parents' business partners. After the theft of Plastisteel samples lands Synthtech on shaky financial ground, Mad Max includes Brian in a top-secret venture of his own: the construction of an experimental flier (with exactly zero safety features) that they believe will convince an investor to sink millions into Synthtech. While Brian and Mad Max's attempts at flight should thrill readers who fantasize about amateur aviation, Reedy strikes some false notes: the boys' preferred diversions of The Beatles and Star Trek are outdated, and a romantic subplot is extraneous. The farfetched premise that a risky flight by two sixth-graders can rescue a high-tech startup doesn't quite earn the necessary suspension of disbelief to achieve liftoff. Ages 8–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2012 Release date: 10/01/2012 Genre: Children's
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