Pi in the Sky

Any reader fascinated by math or science or curious about the universe will likely find Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass intriguing.  Mass tells the story of thirteen-year-old Joss, the seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe. Each chapter of her book begins with a quote from an astronomer, physicist, mathematician, cosmologist, chemist, engineer, naturalist, or writer captivated by the universe.  These quotes form the underlying themes of the book.

Joss, virtually an immortal life form, lives in The Realms, which are located inside dark matter, so parts of it reach out into all the galaxies.  In The Realms, many of the remarkable places are behind closed doors marked closet.  Although Joss holds the key to the universe, he thinks all he does is deliver pies, and he claims to possess no fascination for the unexpected or for creative problem solving.  All of that changes when, from Earth, Annika Klutzman glimpses The Realms through her father’s powerful telescope.  This infraction causes the Powers That Be to rip Earth out of the time-space continuum.  The ensuing consequences form the plot of Mass’s story, the most immediate consequence being Annika’s unexpected arrival in The Realms and Kal’s disappearance.

As a human, Annika is not suited for survival in The Realms, but Aunt Rae’s creative thinking helps Annika adapt.  Determined to send this exhausting girl back to her home planet and to get his best friend back, Joss decides to tackle Gluck’s utterly impractical and unlikely assignment to rebuild Earth—but how?  The answer lies in the simulations of the Afterlives, in the missing data dots, and deep within Joss.  Although he fumbles clumsily, Joss gathers intel from his brothers and from Carl Sagan.  Eventually he learns that in order to manipulate time, he has to know how to manipulate space.  He also develops a taste for bagels and cream cheese with cinnamon red hots.

While telling her story of friendship lost and gained, identity discovered, and youth coming of age, Mass fills her book with science facts that invite investigation.  She makes science so incredibly amazing, readers will want to check out space.com, nasa.gov, and dailygalaxy.com to discover more.

  • Posted by Donna

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