The Drake Equation
By Bart King
320 pages – ages 8+
Published by Disney-Hyperion May 10, 2016
Synopsis- Noah Grow loves birds. In first grade, he was his school’s bird-watcher of the year. Now, he carries binoculars with him at all times, and has even done a science project on rare wood ducks, calling it the Drake Equation. One day, he hears what he is sure is a wood duck on the way home from school. So, he does the most logical thing he can think of – he decides to get off the bus at the wrong stop and follow it. But when he ends up running down a hill and hitting a fence, he wasn’t expecting to find a shiny disc… or, when he takes the disc home, for the disc to give him mysterious powers… or that the existence of the whole human race is at stake…
What I Thought- This book is hilarious. That’s the best word to describe it. I loved the fact that at really tense moments, Noah would get distracted by seeing a bird, and then questions why he was saving the Earth and wasn’t doing what really mattered – recording that he had seen the bird to the Audubon Society! Noah was a great character for me. I read so much and usually the heroic main-character follows a formula – but Noah was fresh. It was nice having a character who didn’t really care about doing the heroic thing (who also hated adventures), but was kind of forced into it. King’s ability to engage and entertain a middle school audience shines through in the story. I also liked that there are “Field notes” footnotes, used to tell backstory, and entries similar to bird-identifying booklets, but for the characters. It really made the book feel like a journal. I enjoyed it a lot. The story and characters are believable and wacky at the same time. I really liked Mr. King’s fun nonfiction books (The Big Book of Boy Stuff, and The Big Book of Superheroes), and this is a great foray into fiction!
I give this book five out of five bookworms!