How many of us have wished for a few extra hours in the day?
For a young girl in sixth grade, a single day can feel like an eternity. From worrying about what to wear, what to say to boys, and who to sit with at lunch, Julia has enough problems with fill a 24-hour day. And then, something astonishing and terrifying happens. The Earth’s rotation begins to slow, and the days get longer. The extra hours of daylight certainly don’t make any of Julia’s problems easier to handle, though–in fact, the more hours in the day, the more problems Julia seems to face. Along with her average sixth grade girl worries like what bra to buy, Julia must also learn to sleep with the sun shining, grow her own vegetables in a greenhouse, and how to deal with the changing of the Earth changing everything she has known and loved.
This is one of those books that a friend who is a middle school librarian handed to me and said “tell me if I made a good buy.” I had actually never heard of it before, and when I read the synopsis talking about how the Earth’s rotation slows down, it put me in mind of that movie The Core where scientists have to drill down to the center of the Earth to get the core spinning again. I mean, it wasn’t the worst disaster movie I had ever seen. And Aaron Eckhart is decent in it. But I digress. Anyway, I had also just read a few lousy YA coming-of-age-in-the-middle-of-disaster books, and I didn’t have high hopes.
I just love it when I’m really wrong about how bad a book is going to be. I loved Age of Miracles, for lots of reasons, but here are some of the best. First, the science. I’m not an astrophysicist. I have no idea whether or not the globe could really start spinning more slowly one day, and it’s not something that’s going to keep me up at night. I liked how Walker didn’t try to make up a scientific explanation for how the globe would slow down. She tells us often that no one knows, it’s a mystery and the people of Earth just have to learn to live with it. Instead, we get to see what the effects are. I found them believable and easy to imagine actually happening.