Okay, I am SOOOO an English major.  On my first couple of attempts to read this book, I (literally) whined and complained to anyone and everyone within ear shot.  The book is too hard to follow, it is boring, it doesn’t make sense, etc.  So I handed it to my more mathematically-inclined family members who looked at me like I was crazy and implied I was too lazy to figure out how it works.

So, with some grumpiness, I picked it up the next day. And, much to my dismay, they were right.  Meanwhile, by Jason Shiga, reads like a flow chart, but it’s a flow chart that some kids are going to be really engaged by.  A “choose your own adventure book,”  Meanwhile shows that a simple choice of chocolate over vanilla ice cream can make the difference between a non-eventful evening at home or world-wide destruction.

While this book may not be my cup of tea, it is clear that many children (mostly boys, in my experience) will love this clever, albeit baroque look at how decision trees can shape a story or life experience.  It uses real mathematical principles to set up this story that had just the right amount of horror and gore to appeal to those children who love both logic and horror stories.