Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Power of Un

Power of Un

4.2 10
by Nancy Etchemendy
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


This fascinating, approachable, and critically-acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy story is blessed with an intelligent and likeable character. The Power of Un was the winnter of the 2000 Bram Stoker Award.

Until a week ago, Gib Finney was just a regular guy, shooting spitballs and messing up his science experiments. But when he finds a mysterious device called the Unner,

Overview


This fascinating, approachable, and critically-acclaimed sci-fi/fantasy story is blessed with an intelligent and likeable character. The Power of Un was the winnter of the 2000 Bram Stoker Award.

Until a week ago, Gib Finney was just a regular guy, shooting spitballs and messing up his science experiments. But when he finds a mysterious device called the Unner, everything changes. Gib discovers that the Unner has the power to erase any and all mistakes. At first, Gib thinks this is better than winning the lottery: he'll never flunk another test or strike out again!
But after a terrible accident, Gib must decide which events of the previous day he must undo to stop the disaster from happening the second and third time around. He soon learns that some things are more worthy of "unning" than others, and some things can't be changed at all. Ultimately, Gib learns the value of life and family in this touching and straight-forward fantasy

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"As Gib relives the previous day, he observes how every action has a consequence, an awareness that gives a thought-provoking philosophical edge to this accessible fantasy." – Horn Book Guide

"[The Power of Un]'s themes and plot twists take it beyond the conventional, resulting in a delightfully thought-provoking science-fiction story." – School Library Journal

"The author shares [Jerry] Spinelli's knack for writing hilarious dialogue that perfectly paints the funny, poignant, and altogether unpredictable world of eleven and twelve year olds. . . Etchemendy employs the familiar concept of time travel to create a unique, thought-provoking book that deserves a place on every middle school and public library shelf." – VOYA

"Etchemendy's intriguing fantasy handles some powerful, big questions about life, the universe, and everything in it. . . . Gib tackles free will, memory, the bending of time, and contradictory impulses in a way that will sound fairly logical to middle-schoolers. . . This book deftly handles some eternal philosophical questions." – Booklist

Children's Literature
What if you could go back in time and alter certain events to change the outcome? Often, when something bad happens, we wish that we could go back and redo the sequence of events leading up to the accident or disaster and prevent it from occurring. Gib Finney, a student at Mitchell Rutherford Middle School, can do just that. Thanks to the Power of Un and a device called the Unner, Gib can go back in time and try to stop the traffic accident that lands him in the hospital with a broken leg. However, what initially seems like a gift, becomes much more than that. The problem is, which events should Gib change? What other disasters could happen as a result? This well-written, time-travel, sci-fi story gives readers a lot to think about as they try to determine whether the Power of Un is really such a wonderful thing to have. 2000, Cricket Books,
VOYA
Gib, a bright, perceptive middle schooler, is having a rotten day until an elderly stranger gives him a magical device called an Unner. The device allows Gib to undo any mistake by traveling back in time. When Gib's younger sister, Roxy, is seriously injured in a car accident, Gib is compelled to find and undo the chain of events that led to her accident. When the Unner is unexpectedly broken after Gib has traveled back to the morning of Roxy's accident, Gib must go through the day knowing that there will be no other chance to undo what has happened. The author shares Spinelli's knack for writing hilarious dialogue that perfectly paints the funny, poignant, and altogether unpredictable world of eleven and twelve year olds. Describing a carnival ride, Gib says, "Jeffrey Hargrove said it made his big sister barf which was an outstanding recommendation." Gib's mixed feelings for his very pretty but "pestiferous" science partner are captured humorously and perceptively. Etchemendy also portrays the darker emotions of guilt, terror, and sorrow that Gib feels after Roxy's accident, and his desperate attempt to save her. The author also offers a subtle challenge to gender stereotypes when Gib reveals that his mother is coowner of a hardware store and that his father cooks and runs a bookshop. Gib explains the notion of time travel simply and clearly as he thinks about the Unner's potential. Etchemendy employs the familiar concept of time travel to create a unique, thoughtprovoking book that deserves a place on every middle school and public library shelf. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Front Street, Ages 12 to 15, 160p, $14.95. Reviewer: Leah J. Sparks
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Who wouldn't want the ability to undo a mistake, an accident, or even a tragedy, after it happens? Once he has the Unner, a makeshift creation of old parts and electronic gizmos, middle-schooler Gib Finney has that power, but first he has to figure out how to use it. His practice time is suddenly cut short when his little sister is hit by a truck and ends up in a life-threatening coma. If the Unner really works, it could save Roxy's life, but there could be far-reaching consequences to rearranging links on the chain of time, and Gib is just beginning to realize how interconnected they are. The setting could be any small town in America, some decades ago. Most of the characters neatly fit stereotypes common to such settings-the happy nuclear family, loyal best friend, mysterious carnival fortune-teller, and more. While Gib is the only fully developed character, the unique and interesting plot featuring a practical look at the possibilities and results of planned time travel make up for the otherwise shallow characterizations. As the story gathers speed, suspense builds to a surprising and satisfying conclusion with room for more than one sequel. The book's themes and plot twists take it beyond the conventional, resulting in a delightfully thought-provoking science-fiction story.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Etchemendy (Crystal City, not reviewed) mixes quick action and long thoughts in this tale of a lad who discovers that changing the past is a tricky business. When a gimpy old man, smelling of ozone, pops up from nowhere and hands him a palm-sized time machine, Gib Finney is understandably dazzled by the possibilities. But his excitement changes to anguish when he loops back in time to prevent first his little sister, then her sitter, from being run down by a truck, and learns that there's a momentum to events that is hard to divert. Gib's increasing desperation, as he tries to figure out how to head off what he knows is about to happen, injects suspense into the story, and his misadventures with the "unner" prompt insights into how minor incidents or casual choices often have far-reaching, unpredictable consequences. In the end, he does manage to keep anyone else from being hurt, at the cost of having his own leg crushed (readers will have twigged to the mysterious old man's identity long before this) and the "unner" suffers the same fate. This hangs together better than William Sleator's similarly premised Rewind (1999), but readers who assume from the cover illustration that it's a comedy are in for a shock. (Fiction. 10-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439313315
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Nancy Etchemendy is a science fiction writer as well as a writer of horror and fantasy. Her novels, short fiction, and poetry have been regularly published since 1980 both in the United States and abroad. Her work has earned a number of awards, among them three Bram Stoker Awards (two for children's horror), a Golden Duck Award for excellence in children's science fiction, and an International Horror Guild Award.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >