What If? Jeffery M. Daniels
Questions are how we learn the answers to many things that we might not otherwise know or understand. When children question adults, their teachers and friends their mind expands, their knowledge base grows and they become better informed. But, what if when you question, when you ponder or wonder whatever you ask becomes more than just a question? What if your passion to express yourself in your own unique way brings you into a world that will turn your life in many different directions? What if you are Jeremy Shuttle a young boy whose passion for drawing is just second to asking questions and learning about the world? What if you are Jeremy Shuttle and happen to walk into a new art supply store, meet a quirky shopkeeper with an odd way about him and you find yourself in many different dimensions, worlds having unique experiences as the pictures you draw within the pages of a sketchbook given to you my this man, become more than just the images on the page?
When Jeremy arrives home with his new sketchpad and his pencils he mother reflects in her own way about his talent. Jeremy’s ability to recreate images seems almost surreal. But, his schoolwork in class needed more effort as the author shares his mother’s thoughts with readers. When Jeremy recounts his visit with the shopkeeper, the information he shares about his family you begin to start wondering just who this man is and what his real motive is for befriending Jeremy. Just his appearance is odd and his mannerisms some might say are suspect. Questions are supposed to be welcomed by teachers and not tossed aside or criticized by classmates. After his encounter with the storekeeper he asked his science teacher about prehistoric eras and cave paintings. Bullies tend to insult and hurt those that they think are weak. Jeremy has been the brunt of many attacks and never seems to shy away from a good confrontation due to his smart answers and sarcastic sense of humor that often surprises those that try to insult him. As he asks his question one student is constantly heckling him and the teacher seems stumped by the question. A confrontation that caused him some pain and a bully that definitely needs to be taught more than just a lesson.
As Jeremy decides to recreate a incident with three bullies he adds his own personal touches to the picture in his sketchpad never thinking that the entire scene would come alive. When kids start screaming and these strange creatures start picking people, up the vivid descriptions and the end result as you read it would be right out of a Sci Fi Movie. When things begin to calm down and Natalie, Jeremy’s best friend finds him what happens next will definitely surprise both of them as he realizes what happens and the illustration in his pad well: What if it just disappears? Jeremy and Natalie begin to analyze the entire incident as Jeremy later on assesses what he knows. Using the sketchbook and creating a scene made it come alive. But, when he used the book and the pencils the shopkeeper gave him to draw the cup of coffee, did it come alive too?
Jeremy is adventurous and although Natalie warns him against taking chances with his book his next drawing is quite unique and what if Jeremy decided to become an ant? What if he joined an ant colony and talk these ants to talk? What happens if he cannot regain his human form? What if he stays as an ant? The scenes are quite humorous, the lessons he learns about how to deal with ants, becoming one of them and how he interacts with the ants might teach kids how to deal with other races and other people. Meeting the Queen Ant she was enthralled by his appearance and telling her his story really fascinated the Queen Ant. But, what she determines about him well you have to read it for yourself. So, just who will save Jeremy and help him turn back into being human?
Jeremy learned a lot from the ants besides friendship, loyalty and understanding. He loved being accepted for himself and helping them against their attackers really shows that Jeremy does take the initiative but when he finally returns home things just might change for everyone. Jeremy learns many lessons in this book but one for sure as he and Natalie have their disagreements and their lives change when he realizes just what a loyal friend she is and he begins to look at her in a different way. But, Jeremy is headstrong and decides to use the notebook to go back in time to see those cave paintings and his experience is quite exciting, dangerous but with the help a friend he just might make it back in one piece but definitely with some obvious wear and tear.
Jeremy is very smart and one question has him asking some more: What happened to his dad? Where is he? What if I could do something great for my mom? What Jeremy decides to do for his mom is endear you to him even more. What happens as a result will let you know that some things cannot be changed, history, well you decide what exactly happened when he goes back in time and friendships that will be lifelong. What happens when Jeremy uses his sketchpad one more time to do something special for his mom? Who comes to his rescue and proves that they will always you might say watch his back? What about Natalie? Will she stick around or will she decide that his use of the pad is too dangerous and that every time he uses it something bad happens? An ending you won’t expect and a 13 year old inquisitive young man named Jeremy and his best friend Natalie are both on different journeys to adulthood but will they wind up there together? Friends forever or will they part? Find out when author Jeffrey Daniels continues his adventures of this great kid named Jeremy Shuttle.
“Knowing what you are looking for does you little good if you don’t know where to look.” Book 2: just might enlighten him and readers too. What is Jeremy looking for that he still has not found? Find out when you read What If? What If I told you the answers then you would not have the joy and pleasure of reading this great book with this inquisitive young man, smart young girl named Natalie and a good mom named Theresa.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
Let’s give this book: FIVE LOYAL GOLDEN ANTS