Midnight on Strange Street

Midnight on Strange Street
Age Range
8+
Release Date
January 21, 2020
ISBN
978-1368047685
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AVERY MILLER is looking for a fresh start, away from all the bomb sirens and talk of war in Los Angeles. She expects to find a haven in Callaway, Texas, where the cool new substance "glow" was first discovered. What she doesn't count on is making friends with glowboard skaters Dani, Bastian, and Lola, AKA the Sardines?

DANI HIRSCH, captain of the Sardines, knows for a fact they're the best glowboarding team in Texas-if only they could prove it. Nothing will distract Dani from leading the team to victory at this summer's big race. Not even food explosions in the school cafeteria, or a mysterious midnight message, or the appearance of secretive government workers in Callaway?

BASTIAN GIL is sick of the bullies who tease him for being a Sardine, for being different. Sure, he and his twin sister Lola can share thoughts. That's just twin telepathy, though-nothing too weird, right? But when Bastian finds he can do even stranger things, he starts to wonder if maybe he really is different from the other kids at school?

LOLA GIL wants life to go back to normal, to a time before big glowboard races and government investigations. But the more the Sardines discover about themselves-like how they can share thoughts and move objects with their minds-the more Lola begins to fear there was never anything normal about her. In fact, she and the Sardines might be dangerous?

When the Sardines receive an ominous, otherworldly message, they must decide if they'll use their newfound powers to stop an impending disaster-one that could have more to do with the war, their bullies, and glowboarding than they can possibly imagine.

Editor review

1 review
Futuristic Skate Boarding
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
The town of Callaway, Texas, is a refuge from the global war that is going on and affecting Los Angeles. Avery has moved there because it was where her mother grew up, and when her parents divorced, her father was too busy with everything to spend any time with her. She is enjoying her new home, which is on Cedar Street, with other kids. She, along with twins Bastian and Lola and Dani Hirsch, have formed a Glowboard team called the Sardines. Glow is something that was found in Callaway, and is a much sought after commodity with a variety of powers, including the power to make hoverboards. All four children have some sort of powers that seem tied to the Glow. Another former friend, Zander, used to Glowboard with them, but is now riding with the Grackles and the evil Mitchell Jensen, whose father has a Glowboard factory. When the children start getting messages from alien beings, telling them to meet at a particular time, they are worried, especially since the twins' brother, Nando, is working for the government and won't tell them many details. With the big Glow in the Park race coming up, the Sardines are concentrating on winning. This is especially important to Dani, whose high powered parents don't consider it a sport and would rather she swim instead. They make her a deal that she can continue to Glowboard if the Sardines win. The Sardines continue to practice, and also hone their abilities to read each other's minds and "tether" to each other while racing. They are warned to stay away from the race, and are being followed by shady operatives. Will they be able to win the race and keep things in Callaway on an even keel?
Good Points
This is an action-packed speculative fiction book with a very realistic setting. The Global War is always on the horizon, especially since Avery's father and Nando are more involved in it, but it hasn't quite reached Callaway yet. The Glow, and its effects on the area and the children, is an interesting topic, and I would like to know more about how it is involved in the war. Certainly the best way to use it is to create hover boards with the ability to race at lightning speeds.

There is a subplot with the evil Jensens that adds a frisson of danger, and we, as readers, can see the actions of the people stalking the teens, even though they are unaware. Readers who enjoyed Savage's The Truth About Martians, Winick's Hilo series, Haddix's Children of Exile or O'Donnell's Space Rocks will find this futuristic adventure to be a winner.
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