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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What if when you were in your nineties or older, you could take a drug and age backwards?

Haddix, Margaret Peterson (2002) Turnabout New York:  Aladdin

Amelia and Anny Beth are each nearly 100 years old and living in a rest home, nearing the end of their lives.  Two doctors present them and many other residents of the home with a medical option they don't understand and all of them receive a drug called PT-1 which begins a de-aging process.  Amelia and Anny Beth begin getting younger.  
       Imaging having almost two centuries to live instead of one.  (This is an interesting idea for me to think about.  I am 47 years old and have been battling Melanoma for the last 4 years.  I am not sure how easy it is for middle school students to wrap their minds around this).  
     The story mostly concerns what happens when the two of them de-age down to their mid-teens.  They are being stalked by a reporter and finding it harder and harder to get job or avoid CHild Services.  They are beginning to worry about who will take care of them when they get too young to take care of themselves. 
     The ending is satisfying.  The book explores a multitude of themes, like how trust and community weigh against independence, and some interesting parallels between caring for the very old and the very young. 
     It is a good book for middle school and high school.  . 

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