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GREEN THUMB by Rob Thomas

GREEN THUMB

By Rob Thomas

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-689-81780-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In a departure from his realistic novels, Thomas (Satellite Down, 1998, etc.) tries a science fiction adventure intended for younger readers, with less success. Grady, 13, is a junior-high geek and botanist who is invited to join a secret forest regeneration project in the Amazon. The project is directed by the mysterious Dr. Carter, who turns out to be, not surprisingly, a standard mad scientist. When Grady arrives at the site he is scorned because his colleagues were unaware of his youth; assigned to drudge work and left alone at the campsite, Grady surreptitiously analyzes the data the team has collected, and realizes that Dr. Carter is growing poisonous trees that are destroying the food chain. When his efforts are discovered by Dr. Carter, Grady escapes from the camp and joins the local Indians. The book shifts into an action adventure tale, as Grady fights hostile tribes and attempts to foil Dr. Carter. While the scenario is imaginative and Thomas doesn’t completely abandon his fortÇ, characterization, at the core this novel is a kids-know-best shoot-’em-up. When Grady blossoms into an Amazonian superhero, the author’s fans may feel the threat of incredibility, but they’ll also have to turn every page to the end. (Fiction. 10-14)