Marten doesn't believe in the power of wishes. None of his have ever come true. His parents ignore him, his little brother is a pain and his family is talking about moving to Texas. Not cool. So when he makes an impulsive wish during a meteor shower, he doesn't expect it to make any difference.
Until his annoying brother disappears.
With the present uncertain and his brother’s future in limbo, Marten finds himself stuck in his past. And if he runs out of time, even wishes might not be enough to save the ones he loves.
In this diverting blend of science and magic, 11-year-old Marten grumps when his mother, an aspiring astronaut, urges him to wish on a shooting star during a meteor shower. It's never worked before, but Marten gives it a go, wishing away his annoying six-year-old brother, Aldrin. At a science museum the following day, Aldrin suddenly fades away, and Marten's parents and other museum patrons become frozen, statuelike, in time. A pale man with a glowing stopwatch (who turns out to be a wish-granting "star spirit") approaches Marten and his friend Paul, whisks them back in time to meet a younger Marten, and brings them to a limbo where Aldrin awaits a decision on his future. Though first-time author Petersen's story flits through time and space, it's easy to follow, and the pieces snap together neatly. Marten's remorse at wishing Aldrin gone, his determination to save his family, and his banter-rich friendship with Paul all combine to ground the novel. Petersen supplements her passing references to constellations, supernovas, and NASA telescopes by including links to websites for readers to explore. Ages 8 up. (BookLife)