Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Secret of Vault 13

While I don't have a planning period and seldom get lunch (since it would require leaving students in charge, even though the library adjoins the cafeteria and adults can check through the glass wall), I do have odd snippets of work time during my day. When I am not helping students, I investigate book reviews, work on lessons for teachers, pull together collections and displays, and do general maintenance and repairs. Since my library helpers are often people who love books, we do have some conversations about, well, Geek American interests.

While my own personal fandom is more Little House on the Prairie/BBC murder mysteries, I tend to attract a Tolkien/Star Wars/ThinkGeek sort of crowd who also often run cross country. This year, I have a 6th grade helper who is VERY enthusiastic amount many of these topics (he's the one who jumped up and down when I handed him the Nimoy biography, and for whom I purchased the Star Trek Visual Dictionary). He's the reason I've seen the movie trailer for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and we may have broken into a chorus of Weird Al's Christmas at Ground Zero around the holidays. We have also had lengthy conversations about why I should finally break down and watch Dr. Who, what series I should start with, and why the Doctor Who Annual is not more of a thing in the US. That annual lead us to discover (along with Little Golden Books Star Trek volumes!) the following middle grade novelization.

Since our district is starting to be heavily invested in Social Emotional Learning, I figure that this kind of student interaction fulfills all my duties concerning "making relationships with students", right?

Solomons, David. The Secret of Vault 13
November 6th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Library copy

Doc, along with sidekicks Yaz, young Ryan, and Ryan's grandfather Graham, manages to defeat an evil Space Lord by reprogramming his robotic army. Before long, though, Graham's begonia has a message for them that leads to an adventure with the Gardeners. They feel the Galactic Seed Vault is under attack from a long ago plot, and the Time Lord and her helpers rush to a wickedly cold planet to try to save the day. Most of the vaults have been destroyed when they arrive, but Vault 13 may hold the key to saving the world.
Strengths: Lots of references to previous Dr. Who episodes (I think. Other reviewers mentioned it, and there were a lot of things I didn't quite get, so that's my suspicion. I did get the reference to the fourth doctor's scarf, because that was the doctor my friends liked.), the new doctor, and an easy to understand and follow plot, even if you don't know the series. I particularly enjoyed that we had Ryan and his grandfather. I could see this being the first in a series, although there is no indication of one.
Weaknesses: Nothing super fresh or new in the plot, but that's not the point. Admittedly, my review is weak because I was just not very interested in the doctor.
What I really think: Reading this did not make me want to rush out and watch the television program (honestly, I probably never will), but I've had enough Dr. Who fans recently that this was definitely worth purchasing. I expect another happy dance from my helper when he gets to check this out!

Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment