Friday, October 16, 2015

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Fuzzy MudTamaya is having typical middle school problems. Her parents are divorced, she gets teased for being goody goody, and her friends are getting interested in boys. However, her problems take a dramatic turn for the worse. While taking a shortcut home through the woods, she smashes a strange-looking mud into a bully's face. The mud gives Tamaya a rash on her hand, but the next day it gets large blisters, gives off a powder, and then starts to bleed. It keeps getting worse, and the bully doesn't show up at school the next day. If the rash on her hand is this bad, what could possibly have happened to the bully? And just how dangerous is this strange, fuzzy mud?

The fuzzy mud is a single-celled life form created by scientists as a new energy source. It's not supposed to be able to,live when exposed to oxygen, but that hypothesis may be wrong. The author includes brief chapters that describe a congressional hearing with the scientist. These chapters provide information about the dangerous cells, as the rest of the book describes Tamaya's worsening rash. However, these chapters also take place several months in the future. I'm used to reading flashbacks, but I don't know that I've read any other books with flash-forwards. It wasn't necessarily bad, just different. I enjoyed how the award-winning author handled mankind messing with Mother Nature. If you try to control her, she can do some serious damage.

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