cover image I Am the Walrus (The N.O.A.H. Files #1)

I Am the Walrus (The N.O.A.H. Files #1)

Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman. Little, Brown, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7595-5524-2

The creators of the Accelerati Trilogy reteam for this dynamic, Oregon-set series kickoff, whose wide-ranging adventure arc encompasses aliens, animalian hijinks, designer coffins, and Stonehenge. Fourteen-year-old Noah Prime has always had an uncanny knack for sports, but after his beloved motocross course is razed for development—closing just like the ice-skating rink he loved before it—he’s surprised to find that he has an affinity for not only motocross and hockey, but basketball, soccer, and wrestling, too. A strange collision with gymnast schoolmate Sahara raises questions about his background, as does a surprising physical reaction to an incident of bullying. With the help of Sahara, his autistic best friend Ogden, and his younger sister Andi, Noah seeks to find out more about himself and his apparent enemies. The group’s exploits, detailed in quick-moving chapters that alternate with additional perspectives from protagonists and antagonists alike, develop a world of depth and moral complexity. Though instances of the cast separating occasionally bog down the plot, often-ludicrous scenarios and pop culture punch lines deliver surprises and laughs throughout, ramping up to a smash-bang ending that leaves plenty unresolved for future volumes. Characters are not physically described. Ages 10–14. Agent (for Shusterman): Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary. (Apr.)