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Turnabout Hardcover – October 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; 1ST edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689821875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689821875
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,604,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her thought-provoking science fiction adventure, Haddix (Just Ella) successfully shuttles readers between three different eras, convincingly covering the extensive life of Amelia (Melly) Hazelwood. At age 100, Melly and other Riverside nursing home residents were injected with the experimental drug PT-1 The drug was supposed to make them "unage" until they reached a self-determined ideal age, at which point they would get another shot to stop the process. The second shot, however, proved deadly, and the participants of Project Turnabout were doomed to unage until they reached zero. Now teenagers, Melly and her stubborn sidekick Anny Beth need to find parents who can care for them in their approaching infancy. But when a snooping reporter begins to track Melly, the pair must put their search on hold and flee. Haddix handles this complex plot with ease, beginning the various entries either just after 2000 or in 2085 (with flashbacks in between). Readers will likely enjoy Haddix's predictions for the future (Perfect Toothpaste replaces dentists and cars drive themselves). The reporter's transformation from hard-nosed to maternal seems a bit sudden, but Haddix keeps the pacing smooth and builds up to a surprising final face-off. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10-Eighty-five years ago, Melly and Anny Beth were old women participating in a highly secret research study that reversed the aging process. However, the directors of Project Turnabout couldn't halt the reversal, and the women have "unaged" back into teenagers. Soon they will become so young that they will no longer care for themselves. Even worse, a reporter's interest in Melly is threatening to destroy the privacy that the teens alone still value in the publicity-mad culture of the year 2085. The suspense is unflagging as the two flee from unwanted exposure and search for a way to live out the rest of their days. The futuristic setting, including the consensual media circus of daily life, is scarily believable. The girls are well drawn, distinct characters, their teenaged selves logical extensions of their adult personas with one important difference: Melly and Anny Beth have learned from the mistakes of their "first lives" and accomplished more the second time around. The novel ends with the suggestion that longer life might be a blessing, an unusual perspective in science fiction and fantasy for young people, where extreme longevity is often depicted as a burden. Recommend this one to fans of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook, or pair it with Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting (Farrar, 1975) for a thoughtful discussion about human life and human potential.
Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

I grew up on a farm outside Washington Court House, Ohio. As a kid, I liked to read a lot, and was also involved in 4-H, various bands and choirs (I played flute and piano), church youth group, the school newspaper, and a quiz-bowl type team. I was pretty disastrous as an athlete, although I did run track one year in high school. After graduating from Miami University (of Ohio), I worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a part-time community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois, before my first book was published. I've moved around a lot as an adult, having also lived in Luxembourg (during a college semester abroad) and in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Several years ago, I moved back to Ohio with my husband and kids; we now live in Columbus, Ohio. My husband trains investigative journalists, and my kids are in high school, so there's always a lot going on around our house.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to girls ages 12-15.
This was a quick read that really kept me on my toes until the very last page.
It was an okay book, good story line but a little boring and hard to follow.
Elise Lewison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
One injection and you begin to grow younger, year by year. What a great idea for a book! (It may, however, not be a topic of great interest to youngsters, but give it to anyone over 21 and it should find a huge audience.) The author thinks of everything including losing the memories you had when you were older, as you continue to grow younger. Can anyone stop this "unaging" process and what will happen when the protagonists are back to diapers? A fascinating idea, a very easy read and one that will surely make a great motion picture! A definite recommendation!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laura Lynn Walsh on November 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
In this book, the two main characters start out as old ladies and, though the miracles of science, gradually grow younger, instead of older. When they are in their teens, they realize that they will soon have to find someone to take care of them when they get too young to live by themselves. While I found this idea intriguing, the only students I have had read it, found it less so. The story wasn't quite compelling enough to make them care about them. The students have liked Running Out of Time and Among the Hidden better.
Still, if you like exploring the ideas, the book is worthwhile.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Luciano VINE VOICE on February 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
It was the year 2000, and Amelia was living in a nursing home. She was sick and had given up on her life. She was content to let her sons make all of the decisions for her, and she was ready to die. Then the doctors at the nursing home had her sign something. She wasn't quite sure what it was she was signing, but she signed anyway. Things began to change. One day she finds she doesn't need her hearing aid anymore. Amelia can swing her legs over the side of her bed again. Some people who live in the nursing home can walk again instead of being confined to wheelchairs. Amelia learns that what she signed was an agreement to participate in a study of an experimental drug that would reverse the effect of aging. Everyone at the nursing home has taken the drug, and they are all growing younger every day.

Things seem wonderful--it's a second chance at life! Then, on her first birthday back in time, Amelia realizes that she can't remember the last year of her life growing older. The nursing home residents realize that once they start growing younger, their memories of growing older disappear; they are rewritten with the new memories of growing younger. One man is afraid of forgetting his beloved wife's funeral where so many people said such nice things, and he is the first to request the Cure, the drug that will halt his age at that exact moment. The Cure has worked wonderfully in lab mice. But when this man takes the Cure, he immediately shrivels up and dies.

Amelia decides not to stick around very long in this place with the doctors and the other old people getting young. It is too frantic, too upsetting. Instead she and a friend, Anny Beth, decide to go off and live their lives together, experiencing the world a second time as they both grow younger and younger.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wow! Normally the thought of science fiction makes me want to fall asleep, but Turnabout had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I couldn't put it down! I absolutely had to know what would happen. I don't really know excactly why; maybe it was the fact that it was by one of my favorite authors, or maybe because it was kind of like realistic fiction in the future, but whatever the reason is, I still loved this book.

Turnabout wasn't too hard or too easy to read, which was really nice. What I really liked about the authors style of writing was how she went back and forth between 2001 and 2085. Also, it was such an original idea. I mean, I actually felt like I was reading a realistic fiction book. That's how good it was!

The book is about two old people, Amelia and Annie Beth, living in a nursing home, along with for forty eight other old people, just waiting to die, until they were given what would seem the chance of a lifetime. Two scientists are telling them that they could actually unage. As in, every year go back a year instead of going forward a year, and that when they were ready, they could choose to be a certain age for the rest of their life. The project's called "Project Turnabout", and they are going to be the fifty participants who get to try it out. There were some problems though, because it wasn't exactly legal, since it had only been tested on rats and monkeys, so they weren't sure it was safe for humans. After six years, Amelia and Annie Beth are fed up with the agency, so they leave. They never tell anyone about "Project Turnabout", but just live their life. When Annie Beth's 18 and Amelia's 16, in year 2085, they realize that somebody si trying to get a hold of them, and she's a reporter. They're also starting to realize that it'll only be a couple of years before they won't be able to take care of themselves on thier own. But who can take care of them? Who can they trust? Doesn't that sound really good?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICE on April 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Margaret Peterson Haddix never fails to deliver, it seems. This book is a perfect example of a compelling tale that has universal appeal written in Haddix's own style that draws you in until you realize that you have finished the book before you can even put it down!

A group of senior citizens in a nursing home are presented the chance to participate in an experiment that may extend their life. Most of them, not knowing what they are signing agree to participate. What they don't know that the experiment is to inject them with the fountain of "un-aging," meaning that as each year passes they will physically be one year old less.

Sounds good? However, like the tale of the Monkey's Paw there is a catch. For each year the person de-ages, they lose one year of their memories from the time before they began the experiment. Meaning that new memories are overwriting old memories like a video tape machine does. On top of that there is no guarantee that the process can be stopped, therefore it is possible that subjects will de-age until they become a fetus and then nothing.

The book centers around two of the subjects who have reached the age that they are no longer adults and need someone to care for them. On top of that they feel they no longer can trust the agency that created the secret experiment and has sheltered them all the years that they were getting younger.

I totally enjoyed the book though I felt that there were a few loose ends left in the end. However, the author may be waiting to see if there is a demand for a sequel. I for one hope so.
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