Rem World

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9780439083638: Rem World

Award-winning novelist Rodman Philbrick challenges the boundaries of time and place in this exciting fantasy. "Harry Potter fans will recognize the misfit hero in a strange, new world." - Booklist

Arthur Woodbury is tired of being called fat. So he's purchased a special product that's supposed to help him lose weight. But when he puts on the helmet like the instructions say, his world vanishes before his very eyes. Now he is trapped in REM World, a place where nothing is as it seems. And it's not enough just to find his way home. By entering REM World, Arthur accidentally released a terrible creature into the real world. It's Nothing, and it's going to eat away everything in the world until all that remains is itself. Arthur's never been the heroic kind - but now it's up to him to save the world.

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About the Author:

"I started writing when I was about 12," Rodman Philbrick recalls. Now he is an award-winning author of more than 20 books for both adult and young adult readers. His widely acclaimed young adult novel, Freak the Mighty, was made into a movie, The Mighty. Before finding success as a writer, Philbrick, who is from Boston, worked as a carpenter, boat builder, and longshoreman. "I kept writing because that was the only thing I really wanted to do," he says. He and his wife, Lynn Harnett - with whom he has collaborated on a number of novels for young readers - divide their time between Maine and the Florida Keys. For more information about Rodman Philbrick, visit: scholastic.com/tradebooks and rodmanphilbrick.com

From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6-This fantasy may appeal to a young audience unfamiliar with the genre, but it leaves much to be desired. Arthur Woodbury, 10, has had enough of fat jokes, so when he sees an ad for a sleep device that guarantees weight loss, he wastes no time. However, he fails to read the instructions completely, and the magic helmet deposits him in REM World, creating a conundrum that violates the laws of the universe. Arthur must get home, or the creeping Nothing will envelop Everything and the universe will cease to exist. In action-packed, cliff-hanging chapters, Arthur is helped by REM World beings ("Morf," "Grog," "Mr. Pockets") and earns himself a new name, Arthur Courage. The plot wanders from one surprising encounter to the next, with only a cursory mythology to explain Nothing and Everything, and an underdeveloped setting, so that REM World never quite feels like an actual place. Arthur is miraculously thin when he returns home, but the explanation that he's been unusually active over the course of a few days doesn't suffice. In fact, the issue of Arthur's body shape drops out of the picture while he's in REM World (it's the "courage" issue that surfaces there), so this framing device for the story seems hollow. It also is conspicuously reminiscent of Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth (Knopf, 1961), in which this device is carried through and developed. Despite the thinness in plot, REM may hold appeal for some reluctant readers; Philbrick's narrative voice is exciting and pulls the right strings.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Philbrick, Rodman
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