I Am the Walrus

I Am the Walrus by Accelerati trilogy authors Neal Shusterman (The Arc of the Scythe trilogy; Game Changer) and Eric Elfman is a lively and absurd sci-fi novel for middle-grade readers.

Twelve-year-old Noah Prime is the son of an optimistic florist and a designer coffin maker who lives in Arbuckle, Ore., the "home of nothing in particular." The motocross-racing kid lives an "ordinary" life--until he begins exhibiting extraordinary abilities. He unconsciously swings from tree to tree when late to class. He grows a mass of blubber when trapped overnight in a freezer. And, awkwardly, he screeches like an emperor penguin participating in a mating ritual when dancing with his crush. Such acts cause Noah to go viral, but it's not just social media users who take notice; Noah finds himself embroiled in an intergalactic conflict between a power-hungry disgraced scientist, a species of terraforming aliens, and a swarm of federal agents. Teaming up with gymnast Sahara, analytical friend Ogden, and younger sister Andi, Noah must learn to control his "side effects" and defend the entire world against extraterrestrial invaders.

Shusterman and Elfman skillfully utilize science fiction elements to enhance an explosive coming-of-age story. Advanced technology lets the characters travel through time and space, making this a rapid, action-packed read; snark, jokes, and unusual surprises keep it lighthearted. Ultimately, this eccentric, amusing novel champions self-confidence, optimism, and trusting in loved ones--even when the entire galaxy is stacked against you. --Cade Williams, freelance reviewer

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