From School Library Journal
Grade 6-10 -Teenagers Susan and Gary live in the house that has belonged to the family for generations. Now Gary has contracted a disease that has him confined to a wheelchair and traveling to the hospital regularly for transfusions. Susan is unwillingly spending her summer vacation pushing her brother through the garden and woods of their peculiar estate. Gary has been reading about quantum physics, a subject in which Great-Uncle Arthur won an international prize many years earlier. He is also the one largely responsible for the creation of the garden and just possibly the maze that no one has ever seen except from one window in the house. Gary is convinced that his illness has somehow triggered a quantum event that is responsible for the bizarre changes he and his sister are finding each day. He also seems to be getting better after each visit to the garden and so Susan finds herself torn between her fear of it and her fear for her brother's life. Sleator is a master of suspenseful science fiction and that mastery is evident here. The action is slow at first, but as the garden begins to change, the pace picks up correspondingly. Ultimately Susan must brave the maze on her own when Gary is rushed to the hospital. The twist at the end is entirely logical (if anything about quantum can be) and entirely shocking. Well-drawn characters and a believable story will catch and hold Sleator's fans and make new ones. Another solid entry from a deservedly popular author.-Elaine Fort Weischedel, Milton Public Library, MA
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Gr. 6-9. After a brief introduction to the uncertainty of quantum mechanics, the paradox of Schrodinger's cat, and the possibility of infinite universes, Sleator launches into a story inspired by these ideas. Fourteen-year-old Susan feels burdened by her parents' expectation that she will provide help and companionship for her older brother, Gary, an invalid who is wheelchair-bound and becoming progressively weaker. Exploring their large garden, they discover that entering the often-invisible maze at its center will enable them to travel to other times and even different versions of the present reality. When Gary insists that they search for a place where he is cured, Susan acquiesces, despite the warnings of her parents, the enigmatic gardener, and her own good sense. The three elderly relatives introduced later in the book seem sketchy in contrast to the other, well-drawn characters. However, the novel's strengths include a strong sense of place and atmosphere as well as a story with steadily mounting tension and an unexpected twist at the end. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved