Pi in the Sky

244p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-316-08916-6.
Gr 5–8—In this outer-space adventure, Joss is the billions-year-old seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe. He's charged with delivering pies that contain "the fundamental forces of nature" in his home, "The Realms," which are located in dark matter. Joss's problems are proportionately grand when Annika Klutzman, an Earthling girl, accidentally catches a glimpse of The Realms through her dad's telescope. Such a violation results in Earth (and its solar system) vanishing from space and time and Annika being transported to a meeting of the "Powers That Be" (PTB). Joss's friend Kal's parents were unfortunately visiting Earth on this fateful day, resulting in Kal's elimination as well. Joss is set on rescuing his friend by rebuilding the solar system-with Annika's help, of course. Annika's spirited sauciness and Joss's determination enable them to overcome a multitude of obstacles: stolen data, withheld information, a saboteur, and more. The humorous banter and interesting physics factoids keep readers entertained when the plot drags slightly toward the middle. However, the conclusion is as exciting and surprising as the premise, and the final chapter renders it emotionally fulfilling as well. The thought-provoking quotes from a variety of great thinkers at the onset of each chapter and the subject matter make Mass's latest a unique, mind-stretching title for science-fiction lovers, and the entertaining high jinks and evolving relationship between Joss and Annika give it an even wider appeal.—Kathy Cherniavsky, Ridgefield Library, CT

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