4 out of 4 stars
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“Matthew Jones: The Boy Who Changed Things”, is a fictional story written by Kelly Lewis. It’s the year 2128 when we first meet 12-year-old Matthew, and we find that the earth has been devastated by war. The war has advanced global warming to a point where the earth won’t be able to sustain life of any kind for very much longer. Preparations have been made to evacuate to spaceships, however not everyone will be able to leave at the same time. Tokens are drawn at school to see who will be able to leave first and Matthew has drawn a green token. This means that his family will be among the families to board the first spaceship. Only two people from each family can go with the first evacuation, so Matthew must choose who goes with him, his mother or his brother. The people have been told that there are other space ships coming, and that those who stay behind will move to underground locations where it's cooler, to wait until more spaceships can come. The same thing is happening in many different areas all around the world.
Once aboard the spaceship, Matthew meets another boy, Pete, who is around his age. Together they find out who is actually running the spaceship after they meet an alien while they are exploring their new home. The boys learn that the aliens are on a secret floor of the spaceship because the captain has told them that they should never be seen by the regular passengers since they might frighten them. The aliens are teaching the human crew how to run the spaceship they have built for them. They plan to stay only until the humans are able to function on their own, but the captain has other plans.
When Matthew and Pete discover the evil plans of the captain, they try to help the aliens. They learn that the aliens have the ability to go back in time and change things which leads to many suspenseful adventures, but they have to be very careful because making changes in the past can make things go very wrong in the future. Will Matthew and Pete be able to help the aliens and defeat the evil captain? If they use the alien’s time-changing ability, will they mess up the future and make things worse for everybody?
This story is told from a 12-year-old’s perspective. The world is in chaos, but Matthew seems to have grown up with things this way, so he never seems overwhelmed by his situation: he just does what he has to do. The subject of this story could be very devastating and depressing, but Matthew’s matter-of-fact approach to things doesn’t give that feeling. He meets new friends and makes the best that he can of the situations he finds himself in. He remembers his granny telling him that things will knock you down from time to time, but it helps you come back tougher and wiser.
The story is well-thought-out, and the writing and character development is well done. It has fast-paced action, and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. The ending left me in suspense and ready for the next book on Matthew’s adventures aboard the spaceship and beyond. There were a few typos, but they were very minor and didn’t affect the flow of the story.
I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This was an interesting depiction of what the future of global warming could be like, from a 12-year-old’s point of view. It’s an exciting adventure story, with events that could be frightening, but that are handled in a way that are both suspenseful and imaginative. I would recommend this book to children around 12 years of age, give or take a few years. This would be a good book for a young person to discuss with an adult since some of the subjects are very thought-provoking: How can a person choose between family members, and where will people go when we can no longer live on earth?
Matthew Jones: The Boy Who Changed Things
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