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SLEEPERS, WAKE by Paul Samuel Jacobs

SLEEPERS, WAKE

By Paul Samuel Jacobs

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-590-42397-5
Publisher: Scholastic

 As Dody and his family travel toward their new home on spaceship Wanderer, a computer glitch wakes the boy 50 years early. By the time the others awake, Dody has a grandfather's body and has taught himself to be a concert organist and ship's navigator; still, everyone treats him like a little kid. But Dody's skill and knowledge are invaluable on the new planet; instead of the expected colony established by a first ship, the settlers find a few fearful old men--the only adult survivors- -plus hordes of strange, identical children made by another inhabitant, a gigantic mind that has copied the earlier ship's children. The copies try to capture Dody and his family, but the latter win free, taking with them the one copy who seems to be an ally--only to find that he, too, is an enemy. Unfortunately, the clever, original idea here is dissipated into meandering and meaningless derring-do. The poignancy of a little boy turned grandfather is never developed; the few scientific ``facts'' are badly muddled--e.g., one character (who's described as the greatest scientific mind since Einstein) exhibits a complete misunderstanding of the theory of relativity by saying that since the ship's mass becomes infinite as it approaches the speed of light it might tear itself apart. Good idea, poor follow-through. (Fiction. 10+)