This past Friday, Inly welcomed Monica Tesler, the author of Bounders – the first part of a middle grade science fiction adventure series. Admittedly, I am not very knowledgeable about sci fi books, but Monica recommended so many books to our students (and to me) that I may dip my toe in! Bounders – which will be followed by The Tundra Trials in mid-December – is the story of a group of kids invited to become cadets and learn how to do cool things like “quantum bound,” which is moving between places without using a space ship. And like the kids in Harry Potter who have to save the world from Voldemort’s evil plans, these kids are charged with saving the earth!
What struck me the most about Monica’s presentation was her enthusiasm for her characters and her subject. She has a cool Star Wars bag, loves to talk about Jasper (her novel’s twelve-year-old main character), and is enthusiastic about the possibility of space elevators that she learned about on a web site called Futurism. I especially loved hearing Monica describe Bounders as “a friendship story, a book about how these kids from different backgrounds come together.”
The origin of Bounders, she told us, was her son’s love for Rick Riordan’s novels. When her son asked her to recommend other adventure series, she decided to begin writing her own. Her son, she added, gave her ideas for the “world building.”
I was not surprised to learn that Monica’s favorite book from childhood is A Wrinkle in Time. “It introduced me to a character named Meg Murry,” she said. “And Meg is someone I identified with.” Coincidentally, I am reading A Wrinkle in Time with a group of students right now, and although I gave up trying to figure out tesseracts a long time ago, L’Engle’s belief in the power of language and love to conquer evil shines through on every page.
There were also new book covers to see. The cover below is the paperback edition of Bounders. As you can see, the series is now called Bounders, but Part 1 will be titled Earth Force Rising:
And The Tundra Trials:
For the young science fiction fans in your life, here are the middle grade novels Monica recommends:
Voyagers (a series) Book 1, Project Alpha, is by D.J. MacHale
Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire
Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari
The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White
Last week also included the new library’s first lunch guests….
And kids getting a good view of the stained glass leaves….
And one little girl totally immersed in her book…