The Doom Machine

The Doom Machine is award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Mark Teague’s foray into children’s novels.  Set in 1950’s at the height of the Cold War and the beginning of the Space Race, The Doom Machine is full of action, adventure, and amazing creatures and places.  doommachine

It all starts with an alien invasion:  Jack Creedle can’t keep himself out of trouble and he doesn’t mind breaking a rule or two.  One pre-dawn morning while delivering his newspapers, Jack sees a flying saucer land in the forest outside his small town of Vern Hollow.  Isadora Shumway is a smart, logical girl who loves science and following the rules.  She and her mother, a world-renowned scientist, arrive in Vern Hollow quite by accident when their car breaks down and they end up at Jack’s uncle’s garage.  Jack’s Uncle Bud is a shady character who fears the aliens have come looking for him and Dr. Shumway doesn’t have the patience for any of this alien nonsense.  And the aliens – Skreeps – are huge, ruthless spider-like creatures that travelled 153 light-years to collect the “Special Assignment” that will allow their race to invade, dominate, and destroy the Earth.  Before you can blink an eye, Jack, Isadora, Uncle Bud and Dr. Shumway all end up on the Skreeps’ ship rocketing through the galaxy on their way to Skreepia.

At the beginning of this wild ride, Jack and Isadora have little in common and seem destined to bicker and antagonize each other at every turn.  Teague skillfully shows how their two styles and different strengths compliment each other and help them survive, solve problems, and ultimately save the Planet Earth.   It’s this unlikely friendship that forms the core of this likeable story that’s full of fun space-age science fiction with just enough 1950’s kitsch, political savvy & intrigue, great black & white illustrations, and comedy to make it a fantastic and accessible read for middle graders.

  • Posted by Cori

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