Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Bad Order by B. B. Ullman

I'm not sure how to even start writing about this book, but I'll try my best and pull from what I wrote on Goodreads immediately after finishing.

Even while I was reading Bad Order by B. B. Ullman, I kept thinking, "This is going to be hard to describe." There is a boy, Albert, who communicates telepathically with his sister, Mary, three holographic aliens, a VW bug that flies, and a tear in something-or-other that allows bad feelings to infect people. As the tear grows and the bad feelings spread, people attack each other. But, Albert has an understanding of what happened and possibly the ability to fix it. I didn't fully understand that part but it has to do with his deceased father, a scientist, working in his lab before Albie was born.

Told you it was not going to be easy to describe. Bad Order is very entertaining, though. I had a little difficulty with suspension of disbelief because the science bits didn't sound particularly plausible. But, I liked the story enough to deliberately shove those feelings aside. The bottom line is that the story is about 3 children and a young adult working together to save humanity under difficult and dangerous circumstances and it's a tremendous ride.

All four of the main characters come from difficult circumstances and in addition to the tale of "interdimensional catastrophe", the author does a nice job of showing how the challenges of loss (a father), alcoholism (Mary's best friend Brit's mother), and poverty (all of the children in the book live in poverty) effect children.

Bad Order is an exciting and suspenseful read. As a middle grader, I know I would have enjoyed Bad Order because I loved anything that was otherworldly with children saving the day. So, I definitely recommend it for middle grade children who like fantasy or sci-fi. As an adult, I found it a little far-fetched but didn't care. I still thought it was a terrific read, once I'd set aside my disbelief. The holographic people are very entertaining and the relationships between the children are charming.

Highly recommended - Space travel, weird happenings, and a cooperative effort to keep a dangerous rift whose glowing mist could end life on earth make for a unique, page-turning plot that sci-fi- and fantasy-loving children will enjoy. I was captivated by Bad Order, even though I didn't always understand what was happening. A fun and wildly imaginative story.

I received a copy of Bad Order from Sterling Children's Books in exchange for an unbiased review. Many thanks!

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