A lesson for middle schoolers about the power of a good idea to change the world.
What’s the secret to making the world a better place? Apparently, it has a lot to do with math. Give Trevor McKinney a calculator, and he’ll show you how doing people favors and requiring only that they pass those favors on to three more people can soon create a movement of beneficial behavior that touches the entire world. But it’s not so easy to convince his classmates, teacher and mom, not to mention strangers, who are stymied by an ingrained suspicion of the honor system and its failings. It’s only when an intrepid journalist makes several connections among stories that Trevor’s idea gets the attention it deserves. But a serious altercation may prove that doing good is too dangerous. This new version of the best-selling adult book by the same name delivers a message of hope and possibility to middle schoolers, who will find Trevor an interesting and identifiable character. The parts of the book that handle the relationship between Trevor’s teacher and his mom will be less compelling for young readers, who may find the vagaries of adult love too...vague. Other secondary characters are vibrant and add both humor and necessary tension to the story.
A mostly satisfying book that offers young readers an important alternative worldview and a vision of responsible activism. (Fiction. 11-15)