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THE WEDNESDAYS by Julie Bourbeau


by Julie Bourbeau & illustrated by Jason Beene

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-96890-7
Publisher: Knopf

A case of the Wednesdays could mean the end of life as Max knows it.

“Halfway up the steep slope of Mount Tibidabo was a very small village where very strange things happened…but only on Wednesdays.” Everyone in the village hides with curtains drawn and shutters closed on Wednesdays because that’s the day when appliances go on the fritz and bike tires mysteriously pop. Max is tired of hiding. On his birthday (a Wednesday), he peeks out, watches tourists run afoul of the “Wednesdays,” and accidentally lets the Wednesdays in. In a fit of pique, his mother sends him out where he meets Ninety-eight, an actual Wednesday. Like all of them, Ninety-eight is egg-shaped with a square head and long arms, and he can make things break from a distance. Shortly thereafter, Max finds he has a Wednesdaylike effect on his surroundings. His fear that he’s turning into one of them is confirmed by sinister Two. Can Max, his best friend Noah, his parapsychologist and the cute editor of the school paper keep Max human? Bourbeau’s debut never achieves humor or fright. There’s not much original beyond the basic, inventive premise of the novel, which never gets a proper fleshing-out. The pacing is languid, the characters dull and the finale a fizzle.

The lack of tied-up ends suggests a possible sequel; here's hoping it moves beyond concept into actual story. (Fantasy. 8-12)