Across the Universe

Recover image for Across the Universevis, Beth. (2011) Across the Universe. New York, NY: Penguin Young Readers

Plot Summary:

When Amy and her parents are cryogenically frozen for a 300 year space journey, they know there are risks involved.  They know that when they wake up, everyone they knew will be dead – except for each other.  What they didn’t realize is that the biggest danger to their safety would be a murderer running loose, killing frozen passengers.  Or that a botched attempt at taking Amy’s life would leave her awake fifty years early – without her parents and stuck in a world where nothing is quite what she expected.

Critical Evaluation:

For a generation ship story, this isn’t especially complicated or deep, but it does deal with weighty issues and is a good, solid story.  The whodunit woven into a more traditional science fiction setting was well done and while the romance lacked spark, neither was it annoying.  My favorite part was how Amy’s mobile presence on the ship was clearly meant to be a counterpoint to the classic story “The Cold Equations.

Reader’s Annotation:

When Amy and her parents were cryogenically frozen for a 300 year space journey, they knew there are risks involved.  What they didn’t realize is that a botched attempt at taking Amy’s life would leave her awake fifty years early – stuck in a world where nothing is quite what she expected.

Author Information:

http://bethrevis.blogspot.com/

@bethrevis

Genre:

Science Fiction

Booktalking Ideas:

Since I think most science fiction fans will have already heard of this, I would focus on the whodunit and romance to try and draw readers in who might like it, but would never think to try it otherwise.

Reading Level/Target Age:

5th grade/14-18

Possible Controversy:

There is murder and arguments for rebellion and non-conformity, but I honestly think most people bothered by that would be more likely to focus on objecting to other books.

Reasons for Choosing This Title:

Generation ship! for teens!  I do not know that there are really any others, so I had to see if it was any good.

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