Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

How I Heard About It:  While in Chicago for ALA I had the opportunity to spend some time with Donalyn Miller.  After we had lunch we wandered the city in search of some local/indie bookstores.  We didn't have much luck, but we did have a great time.  At one place, we devoured the shelves and talked about which books we had and hadn't read.  This title came up and Donalyn offered to send me a copy.

What It Is About:  In 2065, Adri is spending time in Kansas before she boards a mission headed toward Mars.  In 1934, Catherine is living in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl.  In 1919, Lenore is making plans to leave England and journey to America.  Adri has been chosen to be a "colonist" on Mars, but must spend several weeks with a distant relative in the middle of the country.  While here she finds a stack of letters from the past that absorb both her mind and time.  After visiting the "Electric", Catherine is hopeful to find "eternal life" and save her family.  As the Dust Bowl gets worse, she must sacrifice all in order to save a family member.  After World War I, Lenore is suffering from the loss of her soldier brother.  Her main goal is to reach America to be reunited with a childhood friend.  The stories are each their own, but are tied together in the most unique ways.

What I Thought Of It:  When I first began the book, I was hopeful it was going to be an enjoyable read.  I found the idea of Adri getting ready to travel to Mars quite fascinating.  She was a "rough" character and had her own difficulties connecting to the people around her.  I was even curious when she found the letters in the attic.  Once Catherine and Lenore's stories were told via the letters, the plot slowed down and I found myself losing interest.  When the story returned to Adri, I read with more interest.  For some reason, the "historical" aspect of the story didn't grab my attention.  I kept wondering if young-adult readers would be interested in this type of writing and story.

Who Should Read It:  The novel was written for the young-adult reader.  I definitely believe it is geared more toward the female reader than the male reader.  For those adult readers that enjoy a "pinch" of futuristic writing with a couple "dashes" of historical fiction elements, then this is the novel for you.  Happy Reading!

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

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