Last year I saw a translated to Dutch middle grade book making the rounds. It was more so under the radar and the attention seemed to come more from book sellers than any of the Dutch book bloggers. This book was The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.
Straight of the cover pulled me in and after hearing some great things I added it to my list. My very long list. Fast forward to this Summer and I finally reserved it in the library and read it. And people, you NEED to read this book. It is gorgeous.
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright is a sci-fi middle grade that focuses on Albie Bright. Both his parents are scientists so of course he is named after a familiar scientist, Albert Einstein. Growing up with science he is used to questioning the world around him. When his mother dies of cancer it is only natural for him to question where she went. The mutterings of his father about parallel universes leads to a very unique experiment that includes a rotten banana, his mom’s computer, a box and the neighbor’s cat.
1 The Science. As said this book is a sci-fi book. Parallel universes are still left to discover. But that isn’t the only thing in this book. Albie being a child to two scientists means that he has gotten more exposure to science. There are various things he talks and tells us about throughout the book. Science isn’t my strong suit but I have been assured by a friend’s review that all of the science is spot on. As she has a science background I take her word for that.
2 Grief Portrayal. While the science and parallel universe set the scene in the background this book is most of all about grief. The depiction of grief in a young curious and questioning child was so accurate. The book touched upon the five stages of grief because Albie looked this up. But I liked how that wasn’t taken as the gospel with a certain quote I will not give away. While I was taught in my bachelor the five stages of grief, grief does work differently for different people. People have different needs. I thought Albie had a wonderful insight on that.
3 Emotional Kick. For a bit portion of this book I was enjoying it. It was a quick read and I liked Albie. It was a solid 4 star read. Until that ending. It isn’t surprising. There is no twist. But it punched me in the gut regardless. I had to blink away tears. And that says a lot because I don’t cry with books with a few exceptions here and there. This is now one of them.
4 The Relationships. Lastly I was impressed with how well the relationships came across in such a tiny book. The relationship between Albie and his dad, Albie and his grandfather, Albie and his mother, Albie and his friend and so on. They all had depth and were well thought out. Not perfect. Realistic.
Book: The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge
Release Date: January 4th 2016
Tags: Middle Grade / Sci-fi / Science / Family / Relationships / Mental Health / Grief / Disability / Weelchair