Friday, January 23, 2009

The Unknowns: A Mystery

So here’s the thing, and you can ask anyone about it: People were praying for something twisted to happen last summer. They didn’t care what it was, either. A hurricane, an earthquake, a hostage situation—seriously, anything. We wanted a problem, and a hairy one, just for something to do.
You would’ve too, if you lived where we did. Folsom Adjacent, it’s called. Adjacent—uh-JAY-sent, is how you say it—means nearby or next to, so it doesn’t even have its own name. Doesn’t deserve it, really, because it’s not much of a town, or a place. Or even a neighborhood.
Adjacent is a trailer park named after a nuclear plant, is what it is. Think of hundreds of beat-up mobile homes scattered around a gas station, a musty grocery store, a bar, and a desperate little elementary school, which was just two old trailers pushed together with a sign that said adjacent elementry. Someone forgot the “a” and it never got fixed.
Adjacent is on a small island, a coastal island, close to shore. On a clear day you can see miniature people having normal lives over in the city across the way, Crotona. Crotona is too full of very important people for its own good but at least it’s a real place, with actual stuff to do and see.
Adjacent’s got nothing, no mall or multiplex or skate park. Even Folsom Energy, the giant plant where half the parents work, doesn’t seem real. It was built entirely underground. All you see is a flat, dusty nothing surrounded by barbed wire and signs that say authorized personnel only all over the place. As if people wanted to sneak into that place. As if we weren’t already trapped behind barbed wire, a million miles from anything, in a place where nothing ever happened.
Until one week in July, that is. That’s when suddenly it looked like the praying might have worked: People in Adjacent began to disappear.

Joshua Middleton, Cover artist.
" From the NYX hardcover collection: 'Few other artists have had a more impressive debut in the industry than Joshua Middleton. His creator owned series Sky Between Branches for Com.X drew rave reviews for Middleton's delicately detailed line work. Following stints on Meridian for Crossgen and NYX for Marvel, Middleton went on to illustrate First Thunder for DC, chronicling the first meeting between Superman and Captain Marvel. In addition to his sequential artwork, Middleton was honored in 2004 with an Eisner Award nomination for Best Cover Artist.'"

Benedict Carey, a former Los Angeles Times writer and current New York Times science section writer, was a math
and physics major in college, so he knows his geometry. Hoping to ignite a passion for math in his own kids,
Benedict decided to craft a smart and action-packed story for middle-grade readers that uses math lessons to solve the mysterious disappearance of their math tutor. He and his wife and children live in Pelham, New York.

272 pages, 5 1⁄2 x 8 1⁄4"
Hardcover with jacket
ISBN: 978-0-8109-7991-8
US $16.95 CAN $18.95

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