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The Quantum July

by Ron King

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As problems escalate between their parents, a Harvard-educated stock boy and a would-be physicist, thirteen-year-old Danny agrees to participate in his twelve-year-old sister's experiments with quantum physics, through which he hopes he can change their lives for the better.
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Reviewed by coollibrarianchick for TeensReadToo.com

Science has always been a mystery to me, especially the study of physics. I vaguely remember learning about quantum theory, chaos theory, and the Uncertainty Principle way back in high school. It was Greek to me then and even after reading THE QUANTUM JULY by Ron King, it is still Greek to me now.

I like Danny Parsons. He is a dreamer. We all have slipped into a daydream every now and again where we dreamed that we were someone else or somewhere else. Danny takes daydreaming to a whole new level. He actually catalogues the lives that he lives in his dreams. He has notebooks organizing them. For example, the blue notebook is titled "Royal Lives" and in that notebook there is story of him being taken from the family of the "dragon king" in Bhutan. In the red notebook, titled "Adventure and Intrigue," stories include him being the son of a KGB agent stationed in Berlin before his capture. There is one notebook he keeps, an orange one, hidden away. All of the other books are past lives but this one is different. This notebook tells of his future lives. The entries in this notebook frighten him because they seem to come true as he puts them down on paper.

You have to love his imagination. Vivid doesn't even begin to describe it. I wish I could dream like Danny does. He is so sure that he was meant to be someone else. If he doesn't dream, he may end up like his father, who stopped dreaming and appears to be lost. That is why their mother left them. Danny's father is not the same man she fell in love with. His mother is a scientist, and it looks like his sister will be following in her footsteps, being the youngest student ever to be accepted into Youth Scholarship Academy. Everything to them can be explained in scientific terms.

Bridget thinks Danny has a gift, a special power of being able to set events in motion, based solely on touch. She came to this conclusion after she and Danny checked the shed their mother uses as lab and it blew up. She is so sure it is all because he touched an equation on the board. Bridget, in true scientist mode, wants to prove her theory, so she gets Danny to carry around an equation in his back pocket. The equation she gave him explains one of the most central proofs of the quantum theory. She thinks that if she is correct in her hypothesis that Danny will notice a difference, like things around him will look different and that sometimes he will feel like there are moments when he isn't where he is supposed to be.

Almost immediately, things start to change, starting with the parents who announce that they are separating -- but that is not all that happens. It seems that his realities are actually splitting and Danny is trapped in the chaos of the quantum world. There comes a time when quantum laws and the laws of the universe makes sense to each other and only at that time can quantum laws change -- but only if you to choose well.

Does Danny have the power to choose well or will this gift simply destroy everything he holds dear? Can something quantum really take place? Can we really use a mathematical equation to explain all the phenomena that happens to us? After all, there are limitations of what can be measured as seen in the Principle of Uncertainty. I don't have an answer, being that I am not a scientist, but I tend to believe in the words of Einstein when he said: "I'd like to believe that the moon is still there even if we don't see it." ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
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As problems escalate between their parents, a Harvard-educated stock boy and a would-be physicist, thirteen-year-old Danny agrees to participate in his twelve-year-old sister's experiments with quantum physics, through which he hopes he can change their lives for the better.

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