Middle-Grade/YA Sci-Fi Adventure
December 8, 2014
Amazon * Goodreads
"E = mc2 is no longer the most powerful force in the universe. Your wand is."
Twelve-year-old Billy and his best friend Suzy Quinofski didn't mean to change the universe. Billy, a quantum physics prodigy, just wanted to find a way to help his hoarding, schizophrenic mother – and maybe impress a coven of older girls in high school. Suzy, his intellectual equal, wanted to help her friend and cling to her last remnant of childhood, a belief in magic. Together they made Billy a real, working, magic wand, and opened a door to the Quantum World where thoughts create reality, and all things – good and bad – are possible.
My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand is an upper middle-grade, lower YA urban sci-fi novel featuring two kids, Suzy and Billy, who are perhaps a bit too intelligent for their own good. Both have genius level IQs and are high-school freshman at twelve years old. The story begins with Suzy at a police station trying to explain Billy's disappearance to the police. It seems he managed to create a magic wand and... poof.
Suzy and Billy are both very intelligent, but Suzy seems to deal with people a bit better than Billy does. Both talk down to kids and adults and frequently come across as smart alecks-- and that's being nice. I spent some time trying to determine how two such smart kids only skipped two grades. They are both so rooted in science and logic, they find it difficult to function in the real world. Billy's home life is hard to say the least, and it seems to just make everything worse.
I enjoyed the interactions between Billy and the other kids at school. So much of what he said went right over their heads leaving them dumbstruck. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him when it came to his home life and mother. I also liked the coven of witches. Though they weren't main characters, things were interesting whenever the entered a scene.
While some aspects of this book were quite entertaining, I felt it moved a tad slow. Being geared toward middle-grade/lower YA, I think this could pose a problem with a youth's shorter attention span. The novel also featured lots of science-- especially physics, which I thought was fine, though I can see it confusing younger readers who haven't had a physics class. Overall, I found Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand a fun, if not slow read, with endearing characters and an interesting plot.
About the Author
R.S. Mellette has written, directed, designed and acted in theatre, film, television, and publishing for over 30 years. His credits in various jobs include XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS, BLUE CRUSH, and his own JACKS OR BETTER, which won Dances With Films Best Screenplay award in 2000. He has been working with the festival ever since.
His novel, Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand, is due out in December 2014 from Elephant’s Bookshelf Press. For novelists, Mellette blogs for From The Write Angle. For filmmakers, he writes for Dances With Films.