Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament

Perseus/Running Pr. Oct. 2019. 288p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780762466986.
Gr 3-7–When Lexi teams up with swag-selling Ron and camera-snapping Mal for the Annual Teleportation Tournament, she knows it’s a chance to regain access to her old private school and circle of STEM-loving friends, including best friend Haley. Ron and Mal may not be the ideal teammates, but when the clues come out and the race begins, the trio work together on a mixture of science, brain teasers, and good old-fashioned footraces to beat the other teams for a coveted win. Along the way, Lexi learns that her best friend may not have her best interests at heart. She also realizes that, while Ron and Mal aren’t part of a specialized science school, they both have talents that allow the team to shine in other ways. When the trio are unexpectedly sabotaged, they must work together to catch up before the tournament ends. Even readers who aren’t science aficionados will appreciate this fast-paced narrative bolstered by details such as teleportation pods and quick changes of scenery. Lexi initially underestimates her teammates, viewing her team’s victory as a solo endeavor. Her standoffish determination clashes with Ron’s and Mal’s easygoing attitudes toward competition, but they find a way to use all of their unique skills by the novel’s end.
VERDICT For fans of mysteries, science, and everything between, this is a fun twisty tale reminiscent of Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game.

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