What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

High Wizardry (Young Wizards, #3)
This topic is about High Wizardry
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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. 90s middle-grade sci-fi novel featuring three kids who travel through space [s]

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message 1: by Megan (new)

Megan | 5 comments Hi all! Boy was I glad to find out about this group. I have been searching for this book for years, and I can't remember much, so here goes.

I read it in 2007 or 2008, but it was clearly written in the 80s or 90s (90s is my best guess). The cover, if I remember, was pink and had 3 kids dressed in 90s or 80s attire (skinny jeans, big sweaters/hoodies, big glasses). In the start of the book, they are on the beach, enjoying summer, and then something happens that takes them around to various planets and throughout space. I think the cover had them walking through a door on the beach? one of the characters was a girl and two were boys.

The only thing I can remember from this book is one chapter that captivated me. The girl character is alone on a planet full of glass turtles that are also computers. She sits down to pick one up and examine it. I can't remember why she was there, why she was alone, but I think the turtles talked to her and were able to walk around.

I can't remember more, so there are no spoilers. I have been desperately hunting this book down for something like 4 years now. I finally found out I can search my middle school library online, but there is no cover art and none of the descriptions are ringing a bell.

I'm sorry this is so vague, but I'm really going insane trying to find this book!! I'm almost at the point where I'd like to try to ask my middle school if I can go back and look just to get the name of it, but they weren't the greatest school. Any suggestions are welcome- I will check them all out. Thanks in advance!


message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 141 comments The scene with a girl alone on a planet full of turtle-like creatures that are also computers sounds like High Wizardry by Diane Duane. However, that wouldn't fit with some of your other points.

Is it possible you've confused two books in your mind? (It is of course also possible that you're remembering a single book that does fit this description and I'm completely wrong with the Diane Duane guess...)


message 3: by Bargle (new) - added it

Bargle | 1386 comments Drsarah wrote: "The scene with a girl alone on a planet full of turtle-like creatures that are also computers sounds like High Wizardry by Diane Duane. However, that wouldn't fit with some of your ot..."
That's what I thought as well, but like you say the other things don't fit.


message 4: by Megan (new)

Megan | 5 comments Thanks for the suggestion anyway, I’ll check it out! Really appreciate you taking the time to read this.


message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan | 5 comments That’s not it, I have to say. I don’t know why that chapter was all I remember. But thanks for the suggestion!
It’s all one book, I’m sure of that. I wasn’t reading a lot of sci-fi at that age. I could be wrong about the cover art/specific colour maybe.


message 6: by Adele (new)

Adele | 1226 comments This is just a guess: Portal Bandits


message 7: by Megan (new)

Megan | 5 comments I’ll have to look into that one more, but I don’t quite think that’s it. Thanks so much for the suggestion though!


message 8: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (baticeer) | 52 comments I know you said it's not High Wizardry because it was only one book, but the turtle computers are so distinctive that I feel like that has to be it....?

There was a collected edition called "Support Your Local Wizard" that was published with the first 3 Young Wizards books (including High Wizardry) combined into one. The spine/back cover of the dust jacket are completely pink and the kids are wearing baggy 90s clothes. The jacket copy doesn't make it at all obvious that this is a compilation of what was originally 3 separate books and I can easily imagine someone picking it up without realizing that.

Support Your Local Wizard (Young Wizards, 1-3) by Diane Duane

Is it possible this is what was read and you didn't know it was a series? The 2nd book also opens with them enjoying summer on the beach.


message 9: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Holland | 130 comments Do you remember anything about sharks and whales, or about a helicopter or a light pen? I'm also wondering about the Support Your Local Wizard version.

I will mention that there's now two versions of these books, there's the original and the New Millenium version (updated computers, etc).

Here's an excerpt from High Wizardry, from when Dairine picks up a turtle from the planet:

"Dairine screamed and flung herself around. She found herself staring at the small, turtlelike glassy creature that had been the last straw the night before. It had walked into her, and was continuing to do so, its short jointed legs working busily though it was getting nowhere: like a windup toy mind¬lessly walking against a wall. "With," it said.
"Oh, heck," Dairine said in relief. She sagged with embarrassment. Two days ago she would have thought scorn to scream because of anything, up to and including Darth Vader himself... but the world looked a little different today.
She grabbed the steadily pedaling little thing and held it away from her to look at it. It was all made of the same silicon as the surface; the inside of its turtlish body was a complex of horizontal layers, the thickest of them about half an inch across, the thinnest visible only as tiny colored lines no thicker than a hair... thousands of them packed together, at times, in delicate bandings that blended into one subtle color. Dairine knew she was looking at a chip or board more complex than anything dreamed of on Earth. She could see nothing identifiable as a sensor, but it had certainly found her right away last night: so it could see. She wondered if it could hear."

I can't think that there would be that many books that have people picking up turtle computers on a different planet!


message 10: by Bargle (last edited Jan 30, 2020 05:30AM) (new) - added it

Bargle | 1386 comments Turtle computers bump. I wish the OP would pop in and let us know.

Note to self: now solved.


message 11: by Bargle (last edited Mar 30, 2020 05:53PM) (new) - added it

Bargle | 1386 comments Still waiting for the OP to reply on turtle computers. I think Ellie nailed it with the "Support Your Local Wizard" omnibus edition.

Note to self: now solved.


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan | 5 comments Hey all- I haven’t been checking this as I joined a group on goodreads that sends a LOT more notifications than I can handle- this got lost in the mix. I’m sorry for the delay, but based on that excerpt I believe the High Wizardry one is it- I guess googling it last time didn’t bring up the right cover? But that excerpt is basically EXACTLY what I remember. Thank you so much!


message 13: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40648 comments Mod
Great. Thanks for letting us know.


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