RULES OF THE UNIVERSE BY AUSTIN W. HALE by Robin Vaupel

RULES OF THE UNIVERSE BY AUSTIN W. HALE

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this not-quite-science-fiction novel that plays with the many facets of the life cycle with gentle wit, a 13-year-old budding scientist comes across a mysterious star-like object that can reverse or accelerate the aging process in plants and animals. Besides molecules, Austin loves his grandfather, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist who is now dying of cancer, and his ancient border collie, Newton. In the course of the story, various creatures are mysteriously changed by the star: His fish evolve into amphibians; his angry adolescent sister gets younger, becoming the sweet child she used to be; his dog becomes a puppy; and he has big trouble in camp when he accidentally turns his best friend into a little kid and his bunkmates into old men. The relationship between Austin’s wishes and the star’s power is intriguing but not totally credible. The science doesn’t explain it, and while the philosophical arguments about the rules of the universe both amuse and entice, the message never becomes fully clear. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1811-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007