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Author: Vande Velde, Vivian
Blue-haired Zoe Mahar ducks into a bank to escape a downpour and comes face to face with a robber who's not afraid to use his gun. The violent encounter leaves two people dead, including a friendly young man who shields Zoe from a bullet. But Zoe, fifteen, has a special ability to turn back the clock 23 minutes just by saying "playback," allowing her to change the outcome of events.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.90
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 180930
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 6.20
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 68583
School Library Journal (00/02/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 6–9—When 15-year-old Zoe ducks into Spencerport Savings and Loan to escape the rain, she finds herself in the middle of a bank robbery. But Zoe is unique, and it isn't her blue hair, ragged clothing, and tendency to make the people around her uncomfortable that make her so. Zoe can play back time—but only the last 23 minutes and she only has 10 chances to get everything right before that window of time becomes permanent. The teen isn't sure that her ability will be enough to save the life of Daniel, the man in the bank who was nice to her. And she doesn't exactly have the best history when it comes to playbacks, anyway. With only two main characters and a simple plot told 10 different ways, 23 Minutes could easily be a tedious read. But with new details in each playback, a gradual explanation of Zoe's background, and a slowly forming bond between Zoe and Daniel, readers will remain engaged and invested in the story line. An open ending underscores that, as in each of Zoe's attempts at changing the bank robbery, anything is possible, while at the same time serving as a reminder to readers that things are always more complicated than they seem. VERDICT For middle school and early high school fans of speculative fiction.—Maggie Mason Smith, Clemson University, SC - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.