Can a virtual reality headset help change the way twelve-year-old Addie looks at things?
Introducing an unforgettable graphic novel about connection, friendship, and the wonder all around us from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Mass and debut illustrator Gabi Mendez.
When you’re named after a 250-year-old tortoise, you grow up believing life is full of possibilities and wonder. But ever since Addie’s family got turned upside down, those things have been harder for her to see.
The last thing Addie wants to do is make a new friend, but when her dad’s summer job takes them across the country, she meets Mateo and finds herself caught up in an exciting project. With the help of a virtual reality headset, she’s suddenly scaling castle walls, dodging angry kittens, and seeing the world in whole new ways. Plus, she has an idea that could be bigger than anything she’s imagined before, but can she right some wrongs first . . . or is it too late?
Mass (the Twice upon a Time series) and debut illustrator Mendez navigate familial trauma and the impact of technology in this intricately rendered graphic novel that successfully captures the sometimes overwhelming nature of adolescence. When Addie's mother abruptly leaves, Addie's father attempts to distract her from the situation by taking her on a cross-country trip to Spring Haven University, where he will be working for the summer. But Addie is skeptical that she'll feel anything other than lonely, until she meets Mateo, the son of one of her dad's coworkers. Together, the tweens explore Addie's father's virtual reality lab, and Mateo helps Addie see her father's work—and her own circumstances—in a different light. As Addie delves deeper into the comforts of the digital world, however, she discovers that she's been avoiding her true feelings and the needs of those around her. Mendez's streamlined and consistent artwork tonally complements Mass's attentive consideration of the issues addressed. Edge-of-the-seat virtual reality adventure scenes are delicately balanced with accessible and thought-provoking plotting, juxtaposing video game–like escapism with emotionally complex conflict to deliver a solid read that encourages empathy and introspection. Ages 10–14.