Wal is a dreamer. He dreams of escaping from his parents by sailing away on a raft. His friend Billy is a bit more practical: he thinks a raft would be great fun for day-trips in the sheltered waters of the local inlet. Together the boys build the raft and sail it. They make visits to an island, they explore the nearby mangrove swamps, they sail among the wild sea birds. One day they save a trapped dolphin. On another day they nearly collide with a millionaire's yacht. But Wal still dreams of escape, and one dark night he sets sail into the teeth of a growing storm.
"I reckin' this is a great book for middle schooler"
Jenny Kane loves weird science - but it's gone way, WAY out of control. Her mother's moved out, her dad's still moping around, and she's not sure how to cope any longer. And she keeps getting these weird phone calls from a scientist named Rod who's...where?...when? - another time zone? Another time altogether? Another reality? But that'd be crazy, wouldn't it? She also has the strangest feeling that she's done all this before. Who's this odd boy she just crashed into - this Tristan?
Earth, the fantasy - the place where mankind originated, the storied vista of green, rolling hills and unblemished mountains and fields of amber grain waving in a light breeze. Earth, the reality - a junk world, a dirty, dangerous, rundown planet filled with detention camps, flop houses, taverns, human body parts factories, mobsters' palaces, and a lawless immigrant community of aliens and humans on the run.
Poor Jack Wong is a clueless cadet at the Unified Space Academy when his pod is stranded on a planet of disgusting aliens. All he wants to do, other than escape, is to fulfill his proud duty to advance Earth Culture's Primary Heuristic: "Wherever possible, find the weak spot in an alien civilization and interfere as much as possible for the benefit of humanity." It's the Human's Burden! But everything comes unstuck, made worse by his irritating Machiavellian AI. And that's just the start of Jack's troubles in space and time....