cover image Now That You’re Here

Now That You’re Here

Amy K. Nichols. Knopf, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-75389-0

Danny Ogden is a graffiti artist for an extremist sect when an explosion thrusts him into a Phoenix classroom on a parallel Earth—ours. Eevee Solomon, 15, is his only connection to home; a romantic acquaintance in his semi-totalitarian dimension, she’s a brilliant science nerd in this one, and perhaps the only person who can help him return to his world. Debut novelist Nichols explores this jarring turn of events from both characters’ perspectives as a disoriented Danny muddles through a world where his parents are dead while Eevee must reconcile that the Danny who tormented her best friend has been replaced by a boy with whom she’s falling in love. Nichols infuses the story with a smattering of science fiction and science fact, while making a welcome departure from the stereotype of the book-smart outcast trying to fit in. These geeks own their intelligence like a badge of honor, using science to help a friend and explore strange new worlds. Riveting in its own right, the story sets the stage for a mirror-image sequel, which will follow the other Danny and Eevee. Ages 12–up. Agent: Quinlan Lee, Adams Literary. (Dec.)