4 out of 4 stars
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What would you do if you accidentally landed one hundred years into the future? That’s exactly what happens to two young brothers in Bo Boswell’s young adult science fiction read, The Century Cube.
Ten-year-old Turner and eight-year-old Weston are two brothers that seem to be constantly bickering and butting heads with one another. One day, they spend time at their grandparents’ house as their parents needed some time to themselves. While exploring their grandparents’ barn, they find a curious and unusual cube. Being the big puzzle solver, Turner almost can’t help himself and solves the puzzle cube. The problem is by solving the cube, the two brothers are ripped apart from their world and land one hundred years into the future.
Now, it is 2118 and their once-loved home of Winchester is destroyed and in pieces. They must team up with two other boys and a very friendly robot to ward off against the dangerous technologies that might hinder their chance of returning home.
Such a wonderful, sweet, and fun read! Told in the third-person omniscient point-of-view, the author seamlessly allows the reader to get to know the main cast of characters. Boswell truly captured the sibling love/quarreling relationship between Turner and Weston that warmed my heart throughout. It probably helped that the author named these two boys after his own sons! My favorite character was Dudley, a PAL (Personal Android Laborer) robot. Though a robot, he was just so sweet, funny, and such a loyal friend it was hard not to love him.
While reading, it was clear the author knew his target audience and held the pacing of the plot accordingly. Between the technology, games, references to pop culture, boys being gross at times, and the suspense of who the “bad guy” was, upper elementary and middle school readers would truly enjoy following Weston and Turner.
There are major themes of sibling love, friendship, technology, and persistence throughout. As I have mentioned, the sibling love/bickering relationship between Turner and Weston was precious. Friendships between the boys, the two human friends they meet, and Dudley was heartwarming. I found the progression of technology from 2018 to 2118 was logically and realistically done. Lastly, the persistence of making it back home was one that was appropriate and fit within the text well.
The only improvement I can see is perhaps adding more girls within the story. Aside from meeting a sister of one of the new friends and a grandmother-like figure, there aren’t any females in the story. I believe both girls and boys would enjoy the tale as it is, but having a girl more present might make it more relatable to female readers.
It goes without saying that I’m giving The Century Cube a 4 out of 4 stars. This would be great for children in upper elementary and middle school who enjoy technology and time traveling books. I would even recommend it to adults who are young at heart and enjoy reading books geared toward the younger audience.
The Century Cube
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