Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Game Changer

Game ChangerHaddix, Margaret Peterson. Game Changer.
October 2012, Simon and Schuster

KT is a great softball pitcher, and her family's life revolves around her games. During the most important game of the year, she is badly injured and passes out, only to wake up the next morning with no memory of how the game ended. She can't find any information online, her mother doesn't mention it, and when she gets to school, things are... weird. Instead of math and language arts, the classes are running on treadmills and pitching. The pep assembly is honoring the mathletes, and the popular kids are involved in "acs", or academic competitions. Her brother Max, who was formerly a lumpish sort who played video games when dragged to KT's games, is now the center of the family's life because he is excelling in an ac and has hopes for a college scholarship. Once KT figures out that she is in an alternate world, she decides she has to get back to the real world, but getting back means figuring out how she hurtled into the alternate world to begin with. The mystery lies with her attitude, her brother, and an academically gifted girl, Evangeline, who was scorned in the real world but popular in the academically focused one. But even when she gets back, will things return to normal?
Strengths: My high school activities were Latin club, speech team, and orchestra, so you KNOW I was looking forward to this. There are some great moments-- KT doesn't want to go to the pep assembly, cross country is compared to the geography ac, cheerleaders have cheers for math-- and the whole concept of a world where sports are school and academics are the sought after activity is an amusing one.
Weaknesses: KT's journey was a little labored. It took her forever to figure out what was going on, and even longer to figure out how to get back. A lot of time is spent on explaining this alternate world,  but I still didn't quite buy it. Have to buy the book, though, if only for the dedication to two generations' worth of In the Know teams!

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