Welcome to my tour stop for Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand by R.S. Mellette. This is an upper middle grade, lower young adult sci-fi adventure novel that’s perfect for the whole family. This tour runs Feb. 9-20th with reviews and interviews. Check out the tour page for more information.
“E = mc2 is no longer the most powerful force in the universe. Your wand is.”
Twelve-year-old Billy and his best friend Suzy Quinofski didn’t mean to change the universe. Billy, a quantum physics prodigy, just wanted to find a way to help his hoarding, schizophrenic mother – and maybe impress a coven of older girls in high school. Suzy, his intellectual equal, wanted to help her friend and cling to her last remnant of childhood, a belief in magic. Together they made Billy a real, working, magic wand, and opened a door to the Quantum World where thoughts create reality, and all things – good and bad – are possible.
***** Review *****
Billy Bobble and Suzy are hilarious characters. I loved them, separately and together. They are both geniuses in their own rights, Suzy in biology and Billy in physics.
Suzy has the advantage of being the daughter of an Army post general, who can pull strings and call shots…which they end up needing.
“You’re in a lot of trouble, young lady.”
Adults say the stupidest things sometimes. Of course 12-year-old Suzy Quinofski was in trouble. She sat in a police interrogation room covered in dirt and dried tears.
Billy’s life is the kind of life that kids try to hide from others due to embarrassment. He even tries to hide it from Suzy, even though she knows everything anyway. Those moments in the book broke my heart a little bit, and I could relate to them myself. Billy’s mother has schizophrenia, and hoards EVERYTHING. After a meltdown lands Billy and his brother searching for their mother in a pysch ward, the patients tell Billy some very strange things. Crazy people say crazy things, right?
Billy looked at the wandering patients at the water fountain. “I wish I could push a button and make my mom not crazy.”
“Wishing can make it so.” One of the patients sat down next to Billy and started speaking a mile a minute.
They both face the dangers after Billy creates this magical wand that rends the Space-Time continuum. There is a lot of quantum physics talk in this book, including some bits about quarks and string theory, which, thank you Professor Burke for making me read and entire book about string theory, I understood. This is all in the first half of the book, so if you can just follow along and believe in Billy and Suzy, you’ll be good. There was one moment when I was becoming quite done with listening to one of their many scientific explanations.
“Every amoeba, every plant, every animal, every cell in your body is connected to the Quantam World.”
“And my wand breaks that connection?”
“No. Death breaks that connection.”
Billy meets some extraordinary characters along the way from the other world, including Merlin (also known as The Teacher) and Fame, a witch’s familiar. Merlin makes Billy’s danger and protection of the wand very clear: he will be tested by dark forces who want to abuse the powers of the magical wand he has created. Billy comes to realize the psych ward patients weren’t as crazy as our world makes them out to be…they were sharing insights into another world. Indeed, The Teacher has given Billy several examples from history in which the darkness took hold of some very famous and important people and influenced their decisions.
“Your wand is an inanimate object, a tool. Good and evil are in your heart, and only you can determine which will have access to your actions.”
Billy doesn’t know who or what will be his temptation, but he knows that he will give in to it, like a prophecy. The only problem is, things are starting to get very, very complicated once the US Army is involved.
“What are you thinking?”
“That things are getting complicated.”
***** About the Author *****
R.S. Mellette has written, directed, designed and acted in theatre, film, television, and publishing for over 30 years. His credits in various jobs include XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS, BLUE CRUSH, and his own JACKS OR BETTER, which won Dances With Films Best Screenplay award in 2000. He has been working with the festival ever since.
His novel, Billy Bobble Makes a Magic Wand, released in December 2014 from Elephant’s Bookshelf Press. For novelists, Mellette blogs for From The Write Angle. For filmmakers, he writes for Dances With Films.
***** Giveaway *****
2nd Prize- Season two of Xena: Warrior Princess
Open to US only. Ends 2/25/15.