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Publishers Weekly reviews The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep

Hulme and Wexler turn the intelligent design concept on its ear in their children's book debut, a kickoff to The Seems series. The premise: everything that happens in our world, from falling in love to the weather to time itself, is controlled by The Seems—“the place on the other side of the World responsible for generating what you see outside your window right now.” Twelve-year-old Becker Drane lives a double life, secretly working for the Institute for Fixing & Repair; when something goes wrong in The Seems, “Fixers” put the cosmic cogs back in working order. Becker's first mission as a Fixer is a doozy—find the glitch in the Department of Sleep that has turned everyone in the world into an insomniac. The authors use the conceit to the fullest, creating a complex and intricate world with a sometimes daunting array of gadgets, bureaucracy, vocabulary and capitalization (a glossary is included—and welcome). These details don't become overwhelming, fortunately, thanks to the book's consistently lighthearted tone (the Department of Sleep's radio station, WDOZ, broadcasts tracks like “The Hum of the Air Conditioner [Remix]” into humans' subconscious minds). The high sense of adventure and an abundance of goofball humor should appeal especially to boys. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)

From Publishers Weekly Children's Book Reviews: Week of 10/8/2007 - 10/8/2007

The Lost Train of Thought

20 best books of 2008 for middle school readers

20 best books of 2008 for middle school readers

December 24, 3:23 PM
by Diane Petryk Bloom, Children's Book Examiner

#5 The Seems – The Split Second by John Hulme and Michael Wexler (Bloomsbury USA, $17) Again, this is a sequel. But jump right in: Anything can happen in a Split Second. Becker Drane’s still got the coolest job in The World, but it’s getting harder and harder to live a normal life outside of The Seems. He’s definitely feeling the strain of being a teenager (complete with mood swings and a newfound respect for sarcasm) and he can’t stop thinking about Jennifer Kaley, the totally cool girl he met during his Mission in Sleep. Things don’t get any easier when a bomb explodes in the Department of Time and Becker is called in to pick up the pieces after a more senior Fixer couldn’t disarm the device. It’s his toughest mission yet, and Becker finds himself going places in The Seems he never knew existed, and meeting people long thought dead. Yep, it’s just another day in the life of Becker Drane. Let’s hope he lives to Fix again.

Hulme and Wexler previously wrote The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep. As the story goes, they accidentally stumbled upon the existence of The Seems after opening an unlocked Door in Wilmington, North Carolina, during the summer of 1995. From that moment on, they were obsessed with the curious realm they had discovered.

One reviewer said The Seems is ingenious, wildly inventive, laugh out loud funny, touching and poignant at times. …For you parents out there (and I am one): There are a number of important themes running through the book - the Seemsians, especially our protagonist Becker Drane, have strong ethics, remain true to their goals and doing the right thing, and they understand and buy into doing your part for society and following the rules that accompany life.

He also recommends no one pay attention to the age recommendation. The book is for everyone! A big thumbs up from Peter Glassman here.

New York Newsday, 11/16 Review

Newsday (New York)

November 16, 2008 Sunday


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?,0,2888199.sto...

The Seems- The Split Second Review from Booklist!

The Split Second.
“This book expands upon the premise of The Glitch in Sleep, in which a mirror world called the Seems constructs and maintains the machinery that governs our own, with a massive bureaucracy charged with everything from keeping the Seconds rolling along smoothly to painting properly glorious sunsets and delivering Little Unplanned Changes of Kismet (L.U.C.K.). When a rebel organization plants a Time Bomb that threatens to destroy the inner workings of our universe, Becker Drane, the talented, teenage “Fixer,” finds himself in desperate need of help to set things right. With increasingly severe time storms wreaking havoc worldwide, it looks like only the elusive Time Being herself has the power to help; can Becker track her down and persuade her to lend a hand? Yes, as it turns out, and no. This sequel continues to develop a truly ingenious setting while proving every bit as much of a nail-biter as the first. Becker and his allies come through in the end, but the close brings signs of impending disaster on an even vaster scale. Stay tuned.” --Booklist

The Seems- The Split Second Book Tour Dates

Saturday, 10/4; 3 pm; Voracious Reader, Larchmont, NY
Tuesday, 10/14; Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT;
Wednesday, 10/15; Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Fall, VT:
Thursday, 10/16; 4:3- pm; Flying Pig Bookstore, Shelburne, VT;
Tuesday, 10/21; Children's Book World, Haverford, PA;
Wednesday, 10/22; Children's Book World, Haverford, PA; 7 pm; Big Blue
Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, PA;
Thursday, 10/23; 10 am; Barnes & Noble, Lake Grove, NY
Sunday, 10/26; 2 pm; Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA;
Thursday, 11/20, Booktenders Secret Garden, Doylestown, PA;

The Seems- The Split Second Available September 30th

split second

Please join John and Michael at the book signing party Thursday, October 2nd from 5:00-9:00pm at Over the Moon Toys in Highland Park.
Spread the word, see you on the 2nd!! Best Books of 2007 Top 10 Editors' Picks: Middle Readers

The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep
Best of 2007
The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep has been chosen one of's Best Books of 2007 Top 10 Editors' Picks: Middle Readers!

What kids are saying about The Seems

"Reading The Seems: The Glitch in Sleep, I didn't sleep! I literally stayed up all night flipping the pages reading as fast as I could. I liked it...I REALLY liked it. " —Cory, 12, Warren, NJ

“The Glitch in Sleep is exciting and it keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The entire idea of The Seems really fascinates me.” — Terrapin, 12, Albuquerque, NM

“I wanna be a fixer!” –Ben, 10, Belmont, MA

“I’m gonna tell all my friends about The Seems, well, maybe just the cool ones.” –Zeke, 12, San Francisco, CA

Upcoming public appearances for John and Michael, Fall 2007

•  September 20th, 5-8 pm, Over the Moon Toys, Highland Park, NJ
•  October 1st, Books, Inc, 1501 Vermont Street, San Francisco, CA & 1375 Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame, CA
•  October 2nd, Copperfield's, 3900-A Bel Aire Plaza, Napa, CA & 138 North Main Street, Sebastopol, CA
•  October 3rd, Book Passages, 51 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Corte Madera, CA
•  October 3rd, 3 pm, Hicklebee's, 1378 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA
•  October 4th, University of Washington Bookstore, 4326 University Way, Seattle, WA
•  October 4th, time TBA, Kid's Quest Museum, 4091 Factoria Blvd. SE, Bellevue, WA
•  October 4th & 5th times TBD, Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way Northeast, Lake Forest Park, WA
•  October 5th, All for Kids, 2900 Northeast Blakeley Street, Seattle, WA
•  October 6th, 1-3 pm, Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way Northeast, Lake Forest Park, WA
•  October 29th, Magic Tree, 141 North Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL
•  October 30th, The Book Stall, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL
•  November 1st, Anderson's 123 West Jefferson Avenue, Naperville, IL
•  November 4th, 2 pm, Barnes & Noble, 869 Route 1 South North Brunswick, NJ
•  November 8th, Thursday at 5:00pm, Books of Wonder 18 W 18th St., New York, NY 10011 (212) 989-3270