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Children's LiteratureIn episode one of the "Danger Boy" series, twelve-year-old Eli possesses the ability to travel back in time. His first accidental journey sees him as passenger in a spacecraft piloted by an adolescent dinosaur from another dimension attempting to complete a homework assignment. The mismatched pair lands in fifth-century Alexandria, Greece, where they meet a young librarian determined to save what she can during the great fire. Both of Eli's parents work as research scientists interested in the study of time and space. When an experiment goes awry, his mother vanishes into thin air. Strange things are happening with respect to time. Airplanes are making two-hour flights in fifteen-minutes, and his mother appears in a newspaper article published in 1937. Under the pressure of Mr. Howe, a federal employee assigned to the top secret Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Eli returns to Alexandria to see what he can learn about a mysterious disease, the slow pox that has been showing up in 2019. In this first Candlewick Press edition, Williams' story offers an escapade that weaves history and fantasy into the world of potentially real science. The novel takes on several issues—from lost parent to ancient history to alternate dimensions to disease. Although the resulting plot line is at times a bit too complex and implausible, readers should be able to suspend belief enough to go along for the ride. 2004, Candlewick, Ages 10 to 15.
—Wendy Glenn, Ph.D.