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The Great Interactive Dream Machine

The Great Interactive Dream Machine

4.0 2
by Richard Peck

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Josh Lewis' best friend, Aaron Zimmer, has turned his computer into a wish-granting machine. It ought to be every techno-addict's dream, but there are a few bugs in the system. Nobody knows when the computer will interactivate next--and it doesn't just grant Josh and Aaron's wishes. In fact, Aaron's mom's poodle seems to eb doing some of the wishing, too. When a


Josh Lewis' best friend, Aaron Zimmer, has turned his computer into a wish-granting machine. It ought to be every techno-addict's dream, but there are a few bugs in the system. Nobody knows when the computer will interactivate next--and it doesn't just grant Josh and Aaron's wishes. In fact, Aaron's mom's poodle seems to eb doing some of the wishing, too. When a mysterious spy called The Watcher starts monitoring their every move in cyberspace, the real trouble begins in this compelling story from Newbery medal-winning author Richard Peck.

"A guaranteed fun, faced-paced adventure."--School Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When New York City prep-schooler Josh meddles with his best friend Aaron's computer project, a dinosaur presentation becomes a wish-granting program. The boys, first seen in Peck's Lost in Cyberspace, tap into the wishes of those around them: Josh's airhead sister wants to go to the Hamptons, a grumpy old spinster wants to go back in time, and the shih tzu downstairs just wants to go out. Josh and Aaron's wish, to be bigger and stronger than the class bully, yields wildly funny results. Individual episodes will provoke laughter and even thought, but a predictable plot involving a threatening cyber-spy fails to provide dramatic tension. Aaron's technical jargon sheds no light on the logic of the "dream machine" and his lengthy discourses may bore some readers: "Josh," he says, "the past, the present and the future are a multiple program running concurrently, with peripherals." Although the sentimental conclusion carries little emotional weight, the story's fast pace and clever one-liners make it an enjoyable light read for science fiction fans. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
The ALAN Review - Joyce A. Litton
Richard Peck's The Great Interactive Dream Machine is science fiction with a humorous twist that will appeal to middle school readers of either sex. Josh Lewis's best friend, techno-nerd Aaron Zimmer, turns his computer into a wish-granting machine. However, the mechanism is not perfect. Transported in space and occasionally in time, the boys find themselves fulfilling the wishes of Aaron's family poodle and Josh's boy-crazy sister. They also have to discover how to return to current time and space. And they must catch "the Watcher," who knows their every move and who wants the machine for himself. One need not understand computers to like this book, although technical language provides added pleasure for the would-be hacker. The climax is poignant and slightly corny, but readers will approve. Even those who do not like science fiction will like this well-crafted story.
VOYA - Carla A. Tripp
Exemplifying a delightful blend of the science fiction, humor, and fantasy genres, this novel will entice most YA readers as well as those adults who are young at heart. While engrossed in this highly entertaining whirl into cyberspace, the reader quickly realizes that computer and high tech savvy are not necessarily the prerequisites needed for enjoyment of the major characters' fantastical adventures with The Great Interactive Dream Machine. Computer/high tech literate or not, the reader will most likely opt to read on and enjoy the ride. In so doing, he/she will meet up with an unforgettable assortment of characters-Aaron, the geeky computer genius, who loves to surf the Internet; Josh, his best friend, who spends much time reading R. L. Stine; Miss Mather, an eighty-year -old spinster, who firmly believes that Aaron and Josh are incorrigible juvenile delinquents and who caters to her prissy shih-tzu named Nanky-Poo-and these are just a few of many that entertain and enlighten the reader until the book's closing page. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6The continuing adventures through time, space, and middle school of Josh Lewis and Aaron Zimmer, first introduced in Lost in Cyberspace (Dial, 1995). Techno-nerd Aaron has found a formula that allows cyberspace travel through cellular reorganization. Unfortunately, there are bugs in the program that turn the computer into an uncontrollable wish-granting time-travel machine. The boys shun soccer camp, instead attending summer school for history at their exclusive New York City private school. Their study of World War II has surprising results for their 80-year-old lonesome neighbor, Miss Mathers. Humor, fantasy, science fiction, and even a touch of mystery all cleverly combine to make this book a guaranteed fun, fast-paced adventure.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Kirkus Reviews
The Great Interactive Dream Machine ( Oct. 1996; 149 pp.; 0- 8037-1989-2): In this sequel to Lost in Cyberspace (1995), computer-whiz Aaron Zimmer has accidentally given his computer the ability to grant wishes. A bug in the formula makes it grant the most emotionally powerful wishes of any creature in the area, including poodles. Peck's book may not "rank right up there with the discovery of radium and call waiting," and the intriguing premise gives way to a story that is over before it really gets going. Still, some biting prose, larded up with enough technobabble to fuel a starship, should keep computer geeks chortling in the chat-rooms.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Puffin Novel Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.45(d)
580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Richard Peck has written more than thirty novels, and in the process has become one of the country’s most highly respected writers for children. In fact The Washington Post called him “America’s best living author for young adults.” A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle-graders as well as young adults for his historical and contemporary comedies and coming-of-age novels. He lives in New York City, and spends a great deal of time traveling around the country to speaking engagements at conferences, schools, and libraries.

Mr. Peck is the first children’s book author to have received a National Humanities Medal. He is a Newbery Medal winner (for A Year Down Yonder), a Newbery Honor winner (for A Long Way from Chicago), a two-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Edgar Award winner. In addition, he has won a number of major honors for the body of his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi.

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Great Interactive Dream Machine 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Candice Barnes More than 1 year ago
Cool book i have it on my nook and in paper version lol
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in a summer reading club last year. I knew I would enjoy this book the minute I got it. At first it was boring, but it got better.It is not some oldy-moldy mystery, but a better one involving today's tecnology.