Brainwalker by Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast
Have you ever wanted to know what was going on inside someone’s mind?
Be careful what you wish for!
Because 14 year-old Bernard just got in a little over his head.
Bernard and his mother were right brainers. They’re the ones who think outside the box and that really embrace Einstein's quote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Meanwhile, Bernard’s father, Floyd, is a left brained thinker who is grounded in what can be proven and seen.
This is why the passing of Bernard’s mother is so difficult on both of them.
Floyd’s mind refuses to fill itself with Bernard’s theories of wormholes and Bernard cannot understand what’s the problem with exploring beyond the realm of proven science. Soon, the two of them cannot find a common place to pursue their love of science…and father-son relationship.
Until the fated day arrives when Bernard has an incident at school that forces Floyd to take him to his workplace that manages a particle accelerator. While Bernard wants to go exploring, Floyd confines his son to his office where trouble follows and Bernard inadvertently overhears a conference between Floyd and his manager. Filled with panic, Bernard runs away and unknowingly ends up in the active chamber of the particle accelerator. Before his father can reach him, Bernard is absorbed by the particle accelerator…and transported into his father’s mind: the Brainverse.
Floyd’s mind is full of new creatures, people, and machines that capture Bernard’s spirit of creativity. Yet, this new land also makes Bernard realize….
His father’s brain is dying.
Not enough Energia (life in essence) is traveling from Reezon (the left side of the brain) to the Intuit world (the right side).
Desperate, Bernard joins his newfound friends in a quest to find the Energia to save his father and the Brainverse. But time is running out, and if Bernard and his friends cannot restore the balance, it will mean the end of everything.
Will Bernard be able to balance right and left brain thinking to save the day?
What happens when authors use a great dose of right brained humor and left brained cleverness?
You get the brainchild “Brainwalker.”
Brainwalker is a great book that, not only fictionalizes a person traveling in the inner depths of a brain, but also sparks real life interest in neuroscience, wormholes, and family relationships. The authors, Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast, managed to combine science and fantasy to make an enjoyable, and educational, book for young readers. Think of it as an imaginative and fast-paced read that could very well have been featured in a show like The Magic School Bus.
This work touches on a variety of subjects, like a strained relationship between a father and son, the loss of a parent, and the inner workings of the human brain. Mundell and Lacast wrote Brainwalker in a very clever manner that manages to address these deep topics and appropriately convey them in a language for young adult readers.
For instance, Bernard is a very realistic character who is still coping with: his mother’s passing, being teased at school, and struggles to relate with his father. Mundell and Lacast manage to address these teen anxieties in a way that readers can wholeheartedly relate to. Rather than minimizing the characters shortcomings, Mundell and Lacast play off their misgivings and place them in situations where they are forced to confront their insecurities in a constructive way.
While this work is fantastic in nature, Brainwalker is an original must-read for middle grade and YA readers. In this book, readers find how: your real power comes from imagination paired with constructive thinking and, by balancing Bernard’s creativity and Floyd’s sense of reason, readers can navigating through difficult situations just like Adhista.
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