Johnny and the Bomb
HarperCollins, Apr 2008, $5.99
In Blackbury, England twelve-year-old Johnny Maxwell and his pal Bigmac find local bag lady Mrs. Tachyon badly hurt in an alley off High Street. He quickly dials 911 to get her help, and stores her shopping cart loaded with black garbage bags in his family garage until he can return them and her cat to her.
However, Johnny and his buddies (Yo-less, Bigmac, Wobbler, and Kirsty) make a startling discovery about Mrs. Tachyon’s bags. If they touch a bag they go back in time to whatever era that particular bag takes them to. Johnny sees a chance to change history; over four decades ago on May 21, 1941, a German air raid killed several people on High Street. He and his pals decide to go back in time to save the lives of those who died on that fatal day. However they will soon learn the paradox of altering the past when Wobbler fails to return with them so the remaining time travelers try again and again as they have all the time in the world or at least until Mrs. Tachyon claims her bags.
The third Johnny and the gang science fiction thriller (see ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND and JOHNNY AND THE DEAD) is the best of an excellent trilogy as the hero’s cohorts seem so much more developed. The story line uses humor and not so subtle puns to provide the risks of fooling with tachyon particles to change history as the consequence can alter the present one pants leg at a time. Although Terry Pratchett targets young adult fans with this series, fans of all ages will enjoy JOHNNY AND THE BOMB as he and his teammates learn complex lessons about getting “lost in the trousers of time”.