Monday, September 26, 2011

Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble

Noah Zarc:  Mammoth Trouble
By:  D. Robert Pease
ISBN:  9780615524993
Published August 13, 2011 by Walking Stick Books
Available Format:  Paperback, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★★

Noah Zarc is a twelve-year-old boy living in the future.  He and his family command a ship that retrieves animals from the past in preparation for re-inhabiting a post-apocalyptic earth.  Noah, although he is a paraplegic, is a fantastic spaceship pilot and time-traveler.  He thinks his life just can’t get much better…until his dad is trapped in the Ice Age and his mom is kidnapped and taken to thirty-first century Mars.  Noah quickly learns things aren’t as they seem, and he has to find the strength within to pull through it all.  The fate of the future world is in his hands.

This book is amazing!  It is slightly above my kids’ reading level, but it was still tons of fun for me.  I love how it takes the story of Noah’s Ark and interprets it in the future.  It also teaches a lesson about how we are abusing the earth’s resources and basically killing our own planet every day. 

Since Noah is paraplegic and primarily in a “wheelchair,” there is also the message of not letting disabilities hold you back.  His physical condition is certainly not dwelt upon.  We know he uses the chair and a special suit that helps him walk when needed, but he carries on just like any other child—well, any other child in the future.  The focus is on his talents, his incredible wit and ability to pilot spacecraft better than anyone else in his family.  Sure, it is bothersome at times to depend on other things to help him move around, and he sometimes uses his chair as an excuse to not help his brother and sister (with little success), but not once does he let his condition define who he really is.

Some of the time travel stuff was pretty much beyond my comprehension, but it isn’t written in a way that you need to understand what they’re saying.  Actually, most of the characters don’t understand it either, so it just brings the reader into the story even deeper. 

It was loads of fun to travel into the past to the end of the Ice Age and learn that cavemen weren’t as dumb as we think.  And then, in the same breath, we get to go to the future and see what life on Mars might be like.  All through the story, you never know where or when you’ll find yourself!  What a splendid adventure!