Author: Slivensky, Katie
Seven middle schoolers brought to Yellowstone National Park, supposedly to stop a supervolcano from erupting, learn that they are actually working for a brilliant scientist determined to destroy the world.
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/18)
School Library Journal (03/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2018 Gr 4–7—Thirteen-year-old YouTuber and video gamer Brianna wins a chance to spend the summer working with a prominent geologist at Montana's Yellowstone. Along with three other contest winners, she believes she'll be studying seismic activity in the supervolcano beneath the park. After spending weeks cut off from contact with their families, drilling tunnels deep beneath the earth, the young teens discover their true mission. Geologist Dr. Samantha Grier and her park administrator sidekick are actually misanthropic maniacs out to destroy humanity in a last-ditch bid to head off climate change and allow Earth to recover from mass extinctions. Slivensky, a science educator with a background in paleoanthropology, brings attention to the natural process of regrowth after destruction, particularly in Brianna's meditation on the destruction to the park and to Yellowstone Lake. An author's note explains that, while the Yellowstone supervolcano is a real phenomenon, the science of triggering and stopping the eruption is wholly invented. Many readers will find key elements of the narrative preposterous, but the story includes enough whipsaw plot twists and over-the-top action to maintain engagement. VERDICT An intriguing and timely premise make this an unusual and intriguing selection, shortcomings aside. A secondary purchase for middle grade collections.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2018 Winning an Earth Builder video-game contest allows Bri to spend the summer working with a geologist at Yellowstone. Her excitement begins to wane when she and the three other kids realize what they have really been selected to perform: drilling tunnels to allow a cataclysmic earthquake to destroy the northwestern U.S. After toiling through July to extend the tunnels and fill them with explosives, Bri’s group escapes potential catastrophic danger with three others only to be tricked into returning to the tunnels. Understanding the severity of such an earthquake, the group decides to fight the evil adults and stop the destruction, facing harrowing dangers with teamwork and guts. Slivensky masterfully blends geology and fantasy to create a provocative adventure that tests the skills, wits, maturity, and camaraderie of seven brave teens. Bri’s first-person account solidly relates the plot while allowing for the full development of all characters. Even readers with little science background will be pulled into this riveting story. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.