Monday, December 27, 2021

MMGM-- Jadie in Five Dimensions

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
and #IMWAYR day 

Salerni, Dianne K. Jadie in Five Dimensions
October 5th 2021 by Holiday House
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Jadie is part of a group of people who do the bidding of the mysterious Seers. She and her family, who are part of a small enclave of four families who live in a cul de sac, travel to different parts of the world and do seemingly meaningless tasks that they are assured change the course of the world for better. The parents in the group were all approached in college by Miss Rose, and when the children are old enough, they go on missions as well. Jadie was adopted after her parents abandoned her... or at least that's what she has always been told. When her friend Alia asks Jadie to do a mission for her, Jadie finds herself in an apartment (where she is supposed to spill water on a computer) where there is a portrait of herself as a baby, along with another family. Intrigued, she enlists Ty's help in traveling back to find out more. We also see the story from the point of view of Sam, Jadie's brother in the other reality. His family has struggled ever since Jadie was taken in a carjacking. His mother has mental health issues, and his father has found it hard to get work. Sam does some computer programming for video games, and counts on the income that provides, so he is not happy when his computer is threatened several times. Eventually, Ty and Jadie's brother Marius steal Sam's computer, and his work, along with the information Jadie has uncovered, leads them all to doubt the intentions of the Seers and of Miss Rose. When Sam's father is abducted by "resisters" to the Seers, will they be able to use their knowledge and travel through five dimensions to bring him back and save the world?

Did you ever wonder what happened to Meg Murray's father when he disappeared in A Wrinkle in Time? This is a likely scenario. While I personally had a lot of trouble following all of the multidimensional information about tesseracts and directions that don't appear in our dimension, this didn't lessen my enjoyment at all. It was interesting to see a frustrated scientist given the opportunity to solve questions he's been working on, and being thwarted for, especially when the results had such far reaching consequences. 

Of course, younger readers will be intrigued by the Face on the Milk Carton quality of Jadie's experience. Did her first mother and father abandon her? Why didn't they fight for her? What allegiance does she owe to Miss Rose for her loving family? Should she question the Seers more? Just what is reality? These questions are all compelling even with my limited working knowledge of the science involved, and Jadie's experience will resonate with middle grade readers who love stories that involve issues of personal identity. 

Die hard science fiction addicts will love the scientific explanations of the fourth and fifth dimension, complete with reasons why slide rules have to be used in some of them, and how gravity works in the various levels! There were also some great villains and creatures in the book, and a very interesting commentary on what is considered beautiful. 

Readers who enjoyed this author's The Eighth Day (which is another twist on worlds we can't see) or Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts will find Jadie in Five Dimensions to be a physics laced romp with travel to rival Durst's Odd and Even, Lerangis' Throwback, Scarrows' Time Riders, or Welford's Time Traveling with a Hamster. If it encourages young readers to investigate L'Engle's classic A Wrinkle in Time, all the better!

Ms. Yingling


  1. Wow—I love the comparison here to A Wrinkle in Time, because it's rare that you see books that tackle this many meaningful themes and also do so in such a rich and complicated fantasy/sci-fi setting! I'm glad you were able to enjoy this book even though the science was a little bit too complicated to make sense of. Thanks so much for the great post, Karen, and happy New Year!

  2. I haven't done very well in recent years sharing these type of time travel/alternate dimension books with my readers. Very few stick them out to the end. I had brief success with Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson. I like them, but they tend to sit on my shelf. This one sounds interesting. I like the Sliding Doors/butterfly effect element. Thanks for sharing this one.