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*****= An all-time favorite
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by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Reviewed January 31, 2002.
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2000.  223 pages.

I didn’t like this book as well as the others I’ve read by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Running Out of Time, and Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey).  The premise is intriguing--After she turned 100, Amelia was given a drug that made her start aging backwards.  The book starts out in 2085, when she turned 16 for the second time.

There are problems with the drug.  The plan had been to turn the subjects’ aging to forward again after a certain amount of time, but that part doesn’t work.  Also, they discover that as they age backwards, they lose memories of the end of their first life.  The entire experiment is kept secret in order to keep people from begging for a drug that hasn’t been perfected.

The idea was interesting and thought-provoking.  However, I think it might have worked better as an adult novel.  The idea of losing your memories while becoming young again is one that is more poignant to adults. 

Some of the most fun parts were passing references to what the future will be like.  It turns out that most of Amelia’s descendants have their own websites that tell their life stories!

A fun book, but not especially memorable, I’m afraid.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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