Rebecca's Reviews > Meanwhile

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
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's review
Jun 02, 10

bookshelves: attempts, graphic-novels, kid-graphic-novels, age-middle-school, math-tie-in
Recommended for: 4th grade and up
Read in May, 2010

OK, so I didn't read it all. But give this visual Choose Your Own Adventure to anyone who loves math, mazes, and/or comics. The choice between chocolate and vanilla spins out into 3,856 story possibilities, many of which end in doom. This will keep you occupied for a while.

I don't even understand this note in the front: "Once the outline of the story was structured, a computer algorithm was written to determine the most efficient method to transfer it to book form. However, the problem proved to be NP-complete. With the use of a V-opt heuristic algorithm running for 12 hours on an SGI machine, the solution was finally cracked in the spring of 2000."

From Elizabeth Bird's review:

"Then there's the quantum physics, parallel worlds, probability, and entropy I alluded to earlier. All these concepts are here. I wouldn't use Meanwhile as a lesson plan necessarily, though in the hands of the right teacher I think a lot of these concepts could be taught quite painlessly. Shiga's story works in tandem with its format. The theory that every choice we make splits off into a universe where we did one thing and a world where we did the opposite has never been brought to life as brilliantly as it is here. I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure format, but there wasn't a book amongst them that questioned the very nature of choosing and choices like Shiga does. This guy's gonna blow a few minds."
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message 1: by Mcdanielm (new) - added it

Mcdanielm Becky, I just got this book in my library. Once the kids discover it, it is not going to stay on the shelves.

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