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Albert Stephen Bright is the son of two scientists (and named for two more). And so, when his mother dies of cancer, and the vicar talks of heaven at her funeral, it’s perhaps not surprising that his dad should try and explain what he thinks might have happened to her in terms of quantum physics. Less predictable is what happens when Albie takes this information, adds it to what he knows about Schrödinger’s famous theoretical feline and the radioactive properties of a rotting banana – and constructs a machine that enables him to explore parallel universes in search of one where his mum is still alive. Chris Edge’s writing is wonderfully fresh and acute, and as he tells Albie’s story he addresses some difficult issues, including bullying and parental absence as well as bereavement, with enormous empathy and a wicked understanding of ten-year-old humour. This is an accessible, inclusive delight of an adventure, with a bittersweet centre – that will take readers as far as their curiosity dares them to go
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