Author: Christopher Edge
Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Adventure
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Visit The Many Worlds of Albie Bright‘s goodreads page here
SYNOPSIS: “When Albie’s mum dies, it’s natural he should wonder where she’s gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about Albie’s mum being alive and with them in a parallel universe. So Albie finds a box, his mum’s computer and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space to find her….”
DISCLAIMER: I received a paperback edition from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, therefore all written words are an accurate portrayal of my opinions. The review may also contain minor spoilers, so please take caution.
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright isn’t something I’d usually pick up, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity. It is such a fun and educational middle-grade novel that discussed sensitive subjects which most authors would avoid, just so younger readers have a character to relate to and help them through loss of a loved one.
The story follows a boy who has just lost his mother to cancer and takes it upon himself to bring her back. Both of his parents are scientists, so when he asks his father about his opinion on their situation, he relates it back to quantum physics; that she is alive and well, but in a different universe. Albie manages to create a machine out of a cardboard box and a half rotten banana that can send him to parallel universes in the search of his mother, but he runs into evil versions of himself and even alternates of himself so different to his own, it’s hard to fathom.
There is an underlying message that love will prevail no matter the circumstances and pressures it endures, which was my favourite aspect. At first, Albie despises his father because he wasn’t the one that died and they didn’t have that close of a relationship and he shared with his mother. I found this utterly heartbreaking, but as Albie visited his alternatives he started to realise just how lucky he was: that he had a father that loved him. By the end of the novel, he missed his father and they actually planned activities that Albie would do with his mother which is when he appreciates his circumstance and family. Watching such a drastic change in such a short time was truly inspiring and I can see how much of a positive impact this will have on younger readers who are going through a similar experience
I wish I had a novel like this when I was growing up to solidify my love of science. I’ve always been interested in physics, but all my past teachers weren’t exactly helpful or fun, and my intrigue was completely abolished. Have quantum physics as the main plot point while exploring other important fields is a great step forward to make science and math more approachable to kids, and even adults with zero knowledge about the overwhelming world of science. This is because Albie is a simple voice and explains everything with just the bare necessities to understand the topics (I wish my teachers took this approach!).
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright is a short and sweet story (I quite literally mean that, it was less than 150 pages) that will stay with me for quite some time. I highly suggest this to younger reads who have an interest in science, or those who have lost a loved one because Albie knows exactly how they feel!