135 Journals YA and Kid Book Club: Infestation, by Timothy J. Bradley

20 Aug

 

800px-Meat_eater_ant_nest_swarming

These lovely meat eating ants are brought to you by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

And you thought YOU had problems.

 

Imagine you’re trapped in a boiling hot reform school with a small group of miscreant kids and one brilliant bug scientist—and that you’re surrounded by mutant ants who are bigger than you are. Hungry ants. This is what Andy Greenwood, an orphan with a penchant for running away from foster homes faces in Infestation, the first in a series of books by Timothy J. Bradley.

 

This summer I have read a large and varied number of young adult and kid books. Some are deep, some are fantastical, some are so irritating I wanted to throw them against the wall. Except that they were in my Kindle.

 

Back to Andy. Andy gets in a cafeteria food fight, and he, his roommate, Pyro (yes, he loves to blow up things), gentle Hector, Joey the Thug, and two other boys, Reilly and Shields, are sent to windowless, prisonlike, Block Six. But, just like so many things in life, sometimes bad luck turns into good luck. And good luck turns to bad luck. A giant earthquake rips through the land, freeing them (good) yet unleashing monstrous ant creatures, some of which are 8 or 9 feet tall (possibly not so good). They meet up with Dr. Gerry Medford, a young scientist who was at the school studying its then normal sized ant problem already. When the boys and Dr. Gerry meet up, they manage to hide away and brainstorm. One suspects that Timothy Bradley lovvvvvvves bugs, because he definitely did his research. Gerry explains that these mutant ants are unlike anything he has seen in nature and why. As I, too, have long been intrigued by bugs—as a little girl I would often spend long periods watching ants purposefully carrying crumbs into their small, sandy anthills—I too was fascinated by Gerry’s musings on why these ants were different. For example, I knew that ants could not be giant-sized—their exoskeletons only work on a small scale. But I wasn’t sure why. Gerry explains how muscles attach the insect’s limbs to its exoskeleton, and if the bug were human sized, the muscles wouldn’t have the strength to carry the exoskeleton’s weight. Andy also asks about how he learned so much about bugs (reading lots of books helps kids learn about a subject, shockingly). Gerry’s passion helps them come up with ideas to battle the ants, but each kid contributes. The same qualities that made each kid trouble turn out to be useful skills in this life-and-death situation.

Do they get away? What will they try—and what solutions work and don’t work? You’ll have to read this action-packed for yourself, which shouldn’t be TOO hard as it is written at a fifth grade level. But don’t be surprised if you accidentaly find yourself ingesting a bit of knowledge about the strange and magical world of ants as you follow Andy and his adventures. And watch out for book number 2!

 

Writing prompt: What is something you loved as a kid that turned out to be useful to you as an adult?

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5 Responses to “135 Journals YA and Kid Book Club: Infestation, by Timothy J. Bradley”

  1. Timothy J. Bradley August 21, 2014 at 12:54 am #

    Hi, Alexandra! Hey, I know that authors aren’t supposed to reply to reviews, but I just wanted to thank you for that thoughtful post about my book INFESTATION. I had a great time writing and illustrating it, and I’m glad that you enjoyed the mix of sci fi and real science concepts. I grew up watching a lot of 1950’s “giant bug” movies, and I thought it would be fun to write a modern version. I have more in store for the characters, so hopefully I’ll be able to follow it up with additional installments. Lots more things to blow up. I am also writing and illustrating another MG sci fi series, called “Sci Hi”. The books are HIVE MIND, RIPPLE EFFECT, and TIME JUMP (coming out in November 2014). They are styled after the old “Tom Swift. Jr.” sort of books, with a mix of science fiction and real science concepts. Thanks again for the kind words! –Tim

  2. Timothy J. Bradley September 4, 2014 at 4:10 am #

    Hi, Alexandra! Hey, I know that authors aren’t supposed to reply to reviews, but I just wanted to thank you for that thoughtful post about my book INFESTATION. I had a great time writing and illustrating it, and I’m glad that you enjoyed the mix of sci fi and real science concepts. I grew up watching a lot of 1950’s “giant bug” movies, and I thought it would be fun to write a modern version. I have more in store for the characters, so hopefully I’ll be able to follow it up with additional installments. Lots more things to blow up. I am also writing and illustrating another MG sci fi series, called “Sci Hi”. The books are HIVE MIND, RIPPLE EFFECT, and TIME JUMP (coming out in November 2014). They are styled after the old “Tom Swift. Jr.” sort of books, with a mix of science fiction and real science concepts. Thanks again for the kind words! –Tim

    • Alexandra Hanson-Harding September 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Dear Timothy,
      Thank you so much for writing back. I am sorry I somehow missed your comment before. I was just wondering if you would mind/like being interviewed for my blog–I was very intrigued with your curiosity about bugs and I think it’s very cool that you watched a lot of 50s bug movies. I don’t know why authors shouldn’t respond to reviews–I’m thrilled!!! Thanks so much!!! Alexandra

      • Timothy J. Bradley September 7, 2014 at 1:35 am #

        Hi, Alexandra–
        Sure, I’d love to be interviewed for your blog. Send your questions to me at: raptoryx13@me.com when you have them ready.

        –Tim

      • Timothy J. Bradley September 11, 2014 at 3:41 am #

        Hi, Alexandra–
        Sure, I’d love to be interviewed for your blog. Send your questions to me at: raptoryx13@me.com when you have them ready.

        –Tim

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