cover image Journey to Terezor

Journey to Terezor

Frank Asch. Holiday House, $13.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0751-4

Previously Asch has been known for his well-received picture books ( Bear Shadow ) and stories for younger readers ( Pearl's Promise ); this first volume of the Orb Trilogy represents his first attempt to write for middle graders, and his first longer effort in SF (although some of his picture books have included mild SF themes). Matt and his parents are on their annual camping trip when the local dam bursts. All three are saved by helicopter, but before Matt falls asleep in the chopper he sees a huge silver pyramid. When he awakes he meets Ryan and Sarah, two children his own age, and learns that he and his parents are on Earth Colony, Planet S-15, as exhibits of humanoid species from endangered planets. Ryan and Sarah try to reprogram an orb, the robots from the planet Terezor that control the society; Matt realizes that the only real way to save them all is to work on the central orb on Terezor. Too much exposition occasionally mars this work; readers may get the feeling that Asch is not entirely comfortable with the settings and technology of this SF universe. But there is enough originality, excitement and suspense to please middle graders, who no doubt will look forward to the next volumes. Ages 8-12. (April)