William Sleator The Last Universe

ISBN 13: 9780810958586

The Last Universe

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Fourteen-year-old Susan and her wheelchair-bound brother, Gary, venture daily into their home's sprawling garden planted by their late uncle, which holds a mysterious hedge maze hiding a secret that defies the laws of nature.

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About the Author:

For more than thirty years, William Sleator has thrilled readers with his inventive books. His House of Stairs was named one of the best novels of the twentieth century by the Young Adult Library Services Association. He divides his time between homes in Boston and rural Thailand.

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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ISBN 10:  0810992132 ISBN 13:  9780810992139
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, 2006
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