Young Adult Novels by Norma Howe
Author of Novels and Stories for Young Adults

Home  /  My Novels  /  Blue Avenger and the Theory of Everything

Blue Avenger and the Theory of Everything

Blue Avenger and the Theory of Everything
Cricket Books

Book Description:

Blue almost choked on a chocolate-covered almond. "Move? Did you say move? Where?"

Only seventy-three days ago, on his sixteenth birthday, David Bruce Schumacher changed his name to Blue Avenger--after a comic book superhero he himself created. Since then, nothing has been the same. His exploits have become the stuff of legends, and are reviewed for the uninitiated in the unusual prologue to this book.

But now, just back from Venice, Blue is shocked to learn that Omaha Nebraska Brown, the girl he will love throughout eternity (if such a thing is possible) may soon be forced to move. It's a problem that only money can solve. Enter Tractor Nishimura, an eccentric young multi-millionaire movie-maker from Marin, with an off-the-wall offer that's right up Blue's alley: encode a certain word that rhymes with duck so it passes the personalized license plate censor, and the money is his -- with just one catch.

Blue's legend lives on, as a mix of time, money, ethics, romance, reading programs, advertising, angels, aliens, and donuts leads inexorably to love, happiness, and the theory of everything.

KwikyRead © by Simptex ® version: Blue lives! This book is about fun stuff like money and angels. Read how eating donuts will make you fall in love! (Don't worry about the theory of everything. That's only for scientists.)


Gr. 8-10. Using a narrative technique that resembles ensemble theatre, Howe continues the story of high-school junior Blue Avenger (born David Schumacher), his family, and assorted acquaintances. Lacing sophisticated humor through provocative plot twists, this third novel finds Blue confronting a choice between a $7,000 reward he can share with his girlfriend, Omaha, whose mother needs financial help, and a million dollars to be donated to charities that don't benefit anyone he knows. What to do? Meanwhile, Blue's widowed mother has a boyfriend, a situation that causes Blue's middle-school-age brother to behave worse than ever. While Blue (who took his name from a comic book character of his own invention) obsesses about the nature of time, the narrator of the story toys with readers by introducing various pseudo-techniques for speed reading and improving reading comprehension. The result is rollicking good fun for readers who are savvy enough to laugh with a kid who is smart instead of at him. -- Francisca Goldsmith

Kirkus Reviews
Moral dilemma, media frenzy, and money money money figure in this complicated, funny, and completely satisfying episode of Blue Avenger. Blue is back; back from his trip to Venice (Blue Avenger Cracks the Code, 2000) and warier than ever of the fine line between free will and fate that seems to shadow his every move. Those readers who met him in The Adventures of Blue Avenger (1999) will recall that as soon as San Pablo High School student David Schumacher changed his name to Blue Avenger, his life began to take on epic proportions, queerly similar to those of his comic-strip character of the same name. Who is multi-millionaire Tractor Nishimura, and what does he want with Blue? Whose dark van is parked outside Blue's house? How will Omaha, Blue's girlfriend, get out of the financial bind that could force her away from him-will she reveal her embarrassing secret to the world? And what exactly do donuts have to do with the Theory of Everything? A somewhat clunky beginning (interspersed with hoax ads) at least keeps in the spirit of Blue's similarly convoluted life, and the final scene-involving multiple coincidences, a million dollars, some quick code-breaking, and a bad joke about a cat and piano-is watertight and worthwhile. Readers will be well-helped by having read the first two books; and though younger teens will enjoy them, high-schoolers will better appreciate Blue's brainy adventures. (Fiction. 13+)

Bureau of the Center for Children's Books - July, 2002
Although the jury's still out on free will vs. determinism, Blue Avenger's third adventure (see Blue Avenger Cracks the Code, BCCB 10/00 and The Adventures of Blue Avenger, 3/99) leads him once again down the certain, if circuitous, path to a righteous ending. This outing presents Blue with a challenge close to home and heart; his true love Omaha Nebraska Brown has fallen on financial hard times that could - gasp! - force her to move away. As Fate would have it, however (unless, of course, you believe it wouldn't), the cosmic confluence of events offers Blue an opportunity to earn the requisite few thousand dollars, provided he can withstand the crushing temptation to beneficently affect a broader range of the needy by earning a million instead. Along the way he grapples with a doughnut-shop fancier/media mogul, his brother Josh's quest for a class project that involves cornstarch, a license-plate censor, and his own fully requited (but unfortunately over chaperoned) passion for Omaha. Howe reprises her previous freewheeling performances, slashing with dramatic diversions and asides a host of bugaboos from corporate sponsorships to Internet naivete, to Accelerated Reader (barely disguised as fictional KwikyRead). A few thrusts miss their mark: one thinly developed subplot concerning Omaha's third breast (surgically removed long ago) is suggestion of the pointless titillation Howe can generally be counted on to skewer, and another involving a sham suicide attempt is treated with levity which some readers may find a tad overdone. Still, Howe continues to be an ebullient cheerleader for the thinking teen, and kids who carom nimbly between philosophy and farce will cheer Blue's return. EB