©2020 All Rights Reserved Lynne Perednia
By Gordon Korman
MG Adventure Fiction
Balzer + Bray
Jett Baranov, the only son of a Silicon Valley genius whose companies are like Google, Apple and Microsoft combined, is en route to Oasis, a wellness resort in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas. He's not going willingly. He's going because he's caused one uproar too many. Accompanied by an employee of his father, Jett is determined to get back home or cause even more trouble. Or both.
Giving up all his devices and deprived of tech upon his arrival only makes him more determined, especially when faced when an all-veggie diet.
Gordon Korman's latest middle grade adventure, Unplugged, is not only Jett's story. There are other young teens at the resort, their families, his companion and those who run the resort. Magnus created Oasis. His number two is Ivory, a tall, tough-looking woman who specializes in hypnosis counseling sessions.
Magnus can do no wrong in Grace Atwater's book. She and her mother have been coming to Oasis for years, leaving her dad and dog at home while they meditate, zip line and paddle in the lake. Everything about Jett is wrong to Grace, and she wants him to leave as much as he does. Tyrell Karrigan is allergic to everything and hapless about just about everything. Brooklynne Feldman comes and goes to camp activities as she pleases. Grace and Tyrell aren't even sure who her parents are, but Brooklynne has been coming to Oasis longer than they have.
When Jett finds a baby reptile in the hot springs pool, the kids band together to take care of little Needles. They end up bonding together in a story that doesn't force them into becoming friends. Their bond serves them well when Jett's trips to town to get meat for Needles lead to a surprising discovery.
The discovery leads to a wild action adventure-style climax, but one that middle grade readers will enjoy. Korman, an accomplished author of dozens of novels, does a great job providing adventure and characters to care about. Unplugged is a fun and engaging novel.
Unplugged will be published on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.