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Johnny O'Brien was born in Edinburgh and studied history at Cambridge University. He got the idea for the Jack Christie Adventures when he came across his grandfather's medals from World War I. He lives in Surrey, England, with his family.
Gr 6-9-This title, a cross between Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" books (Penguin) and Dan Gutman's "Baseball Card Adventures" (HarperCollins), introduces Jack Christie and his friend Angus. The British teens enjoy playing video games, particularly the World War I-inspired Point of Departure, and looking for adventure. Due to circumstances beyond their control, the boys find themselves back in June 1914, as part of a conspiracy to stop the war. Within the first suspenseful pages, readers will find an engaging historical/science fiction tale that has intrigue, danger, and a little romance. Jack's conflicting emotions about his parents' divorce, his fears about the unfolding events, and his frustrations with the present-day situation that sent him back in time are genuine. O'Brien deftly articulates the historical and cultural climate of Europe, and Austria in particular, on the advent of war. He gives equal attention to the science-fiction portions of the novel too, as the device used to travel back in time is plausible enough for readers to believe its viability. From an explosive escape out of captivity to a much-anticipated scene that decides the fate of World War I, the end of the book has plenty of action. Historical information and photographs about the events and people central to the period enhance this title even more.-Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.