New York Newsday, 11/16 Review

Newsday (New York)

November 16, 2008 Sunday
ALL EDITIONS

BOOKENDS: CHILDREN'S BOOKS

BY SONJA BOLLE. Special to Newsday

'The Seems" is the rare fiction series that can be read purely for the adventure, or mulled over for its implied questions about big philosophical issues: Is reality what we see, or is there a reality behind all this? How do we know who holds power in the world? How do we know we're doing the right thing?

Thirteen-year-old Becker Drane has secretly been recruited to work for The Seems, the world behind the world. It's the workers of The Seems who develop and produce the weather, who package and ship dreams, who are responsible for the orderly progression of time, who run a thousand other pieces of reality that we in the visible world take for granted. Becker has the coolest job in The Seems: He's a Fixer, the guy who's sent in when something goes wrong that's too big for an individual Seems department to correct. Fixers are to The Seems what extreme snowboarders are to sport, and Becker is the youngest Fixer ever.

In "The Glitch in Sleep," insomnia threatens to derail the planet, while in "The Split Second," an underground organization known as The Tide puts the world in peril with a bomb that can rend the fabric of time. Both threats turn out to have practical Seemsian solutions, which are effected through the use of fabulous tools like the Helping HandTM and other gadgets that make clever use of puns and plays on words. But underneath it all is the question: Why did Becker's best friend go over to The Tide, and is Becker naive to support the Powers That Be?

http://www.newsday.com/features/booksmags/ny-b5924309nov16,0,2888199.sto...