A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time is the kick-off of a seven-book time-travel adventure series that has an accompanying interactive video game. Readers will learn something about Aristotle, Columbus, Rasputin, the American Revolution, and more -- as well as get some insight into the importance of thinking for yourself and fighting back against an overly controlling government. Protagonists Dak and Sera are very brave and loyal to each other, and they use their talents -- she's a science whiz and he's a history buff -- to help save the world. There's some violence and danger here as the two fifth-graders survive an explosion, get locked in prison and sentenced to death, and are in a melee involving swords, fists, and gunplay. Dak also almost drowns when he's thrown overboard.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
History-loving Dak and science genius Sera are living in a world plagued by earthquakes and food shortages -- and a hyper-controlling government known as the SQ. When Sera is able to complete the time machine that Dak's scientist parents have been working on -- an invention called the Infinity Ring -- the fifth-grade best friends find themselves being called to a surprising new mission. A group called the Hystorians asks them to travel back in time to moments where history is broken to see whether they can right past wrongs and keep the SQ out of power. Their first stop: preventing mutinous brothers from taking over Christopher Columbus' ship.
Is it any good?
Kids will certainly be caught up in this adventure as two likable characters use their big brains to time-travel and stop a mutiny -- and hopefully save the world they're living in.
Author James Dashner covers a lot of ground here, explaining the Infinity Ring, the SQ, and getting Dak and Sera on their way to save Columbus. Some readers may get a bit lost trying to track exactly what's happening with time and what the breaks are all about; it's pretty sophisticated stuff. (One way the Hystorians know that time is broken is that some characters like Sera experience "Remnants," ghost-like memories that feel very real and leave them upset.) Even so, the author throws in enough humor, adventure, and inventive details -- like devices that let you speak and understand any language! -- to keep even reluctant readers engaged.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this series is paired with an interactive 3-D video game and collectible maps. Will you just read the books -- or use the multimedia elements as well?
Did you know that each of the seven books in this series will have a different author? What do you think it would be like to try to continue a story that someone else has already started?
Why is time travel such a popular theme in science fiction?
- Author: James Dashner
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, History, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
- Publication date: August 28, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle
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