This YA novel is about a young boy who suddenly acquires a unique ability.
Jeremy Shuttle is your average middle school student. He loves asking questions in class, he deals with the school bully, and he has a friend named Natalie. He also loves drawing in his sketchbook. One day, an art supply store suddenly appears at the end of his street. Yesterday, it was no there. The elderly proprietor gives Jeremy a very special sketchbook. He should have listened more closely to what the proprietor said about it.
Just for fun, Jeremy draws a picture of his school being attacked by a multi-tentacled creature, kind of like a giant octopus. He is shocked to learn that his school really is under attack by a giant octopus. Jeremy tells Natalie about the strange art supply store, and takes her there, but it is gone, like it never existed. Natalie urges Jeremy to be really careful, but Jeremy has to "test" the sketchbook, so he turns himself into an ant.
Jeremy is a very big and strong ant; think of the ant equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He meets other ants and tries to tell them that he is not an ant, but a human. Their reaction is Whatever. Part way through his time as an ant, Jeremy realizes that he doesn't know how to turn back into a human.
Natalie saves his rear end, and strongly urges him to get rid of the sketchbook. Jeremy refuses, and has another "test" for the sketchbook. It involves going back in time to the caveman era, and drawing crude pictures on cave walls. When he returns, Natalie very strongly urges him to get rid of the sketchbook. Jeremy's continued refusal damages their friendship. His ultimate idea is to do something for his mother, whose husband, and Jeremy's father, disappeared during an archaeological expedition several years previously, and has not been heard from since then. Jeremy's idea is either a very considerate thing to do, or it will set new records for backfiring (which almost happens).
First of a trilogy, this YA novel is very good. Who hasn't wanted a way to answer What If? Teens, and adults, will enjoy this story.
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