Meanwhile Book Poster Image

Meanwhile

(i)

 

Quirky, inventive, and absorbing choose-your-own adventure.

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Although this book is mainly for fun, an underlying message seems to be that every choice matters in the grand scheme of things. By introducing the idea of choosing a path to the reader, the reader can see that with different choices, even tiny ones, the outcome of a day can be totally different.

Positive role models

Jimmy, the character that readers are controlling throughout the book, is a nice and curious boy eager to learn from Professor K and his array of interesting inventions.

Violence & scariness

One of the fabulous machines in Professor K's laboratory is a Killitron 2000, his untested doomsday device. By choosing various story plots, the reader will inevitably come to some stories where the Killitron 2000 is activated and people die. It shows no gore, only people seemingly passed out on the floor.

Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fun and action-packed comic book contains a deadly invention: the Killitron 2000, Professor K's untested doomsday device. A few of the choose-your-own path stories end with Jimmy setting off the Killitron 2000 which results in the entire world being killed. No blood/guts are shown, but people are shown seemingly passed out on the ground. Sometimes Jimmy has the chance to try and reset the Killitron 2000 by using Professor K's time machine and sometimes the story ends with the death of everyone on Earth.

Parents say

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What's the story?

With just one choice -- chocolate or vanilla ice cream -- Jimmy is thrust into a world of puzzles, adventures, and inventions. After Jimmy picks a flavor he meets \ Professor K, who introduces Jimmy to his three unbelievable inventions: the Killitron 2000, an untested doomsday device; \ a time travelling machine that only goes back seven years in time; and \ SQUID, which transfers memories from one brain to another. As readers \ make choices for Jimmy -- sometimes as mundane as deciding whether or not to look in a \ medicine cabinet -- Jimmy moves along in many different stories \ where he uses all three of Professor K's inventions to sometimes disastrous, \ sometimes happy results.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Through an inventive series of tabs and colored tubes, readers make their choices and skip all over this fun 80-page book -- 3,856 story combinations in all! Kids will get hooked both by the novel delivery of the "choose your own adventure" idea and the engaging series of story combinations. The colorful and comical illustrations make it an even bigger draw -- the perfect take-along on long trips.

The illustrations by Jason Shiga are endearing and quirky all at the same time. Beautiful and colorful, they really bring the exciting adventures to life.  Also, when Jimmy goes to different places and time periods they are colored differently -- a great way to show readers the change in scenery and time.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Professor K's inventions. Which invention would you most like to try out if you were Jimmy: the Killitron 2000, the Time Machine or the SQUID?

  • On the cover of the book, it says that there are 3,856 story possibilities!  How is that possible? Did you get close to reading that many of the stories? What was your favorite story and ending?

  • Create your own "choose your own adventure"-type story. What scenarios would make your readers go back to the beginning? Which would be the happy endings?

  • If you were in Jimmy's position, would you have chosen chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

Book details

Author:Jason Shiga
Illustrator:Jason Shiga
Genre:Adventure
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Amulet Books
Publication date:March 1, 2010
Number of pages:80
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12

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Kid, 11 years old February 21, 2011

A good story for unsure readers!

I wasn't a super big fan of the book, but my eight-year-old sister loved it. To read the story you follow these lines around, according to what you choose. The story is very good overall, but there are many, many, endings, and most of them end with at least one person getting killed. Kids will learn about the positive and negative impacts of their choices as they choose what Jimmy will do next. I think this is a good choice for kids who aren't super sure they like reading, as this is a fun and educational intro to reading for fun. Boys will likely enjoy this more than girls, there being next to no girl characters AT ALL, and with all the destructive weaponry.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Kid, 7 years old June 16, 2012

It's just good

You can choose which way you want to go. There are lines to follow. If you don't like your choice, just go back and try again.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old July 9, 2010

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