(1 customer review)
Publication Date: Nov. 28, 2021
Categories: Young Adult, Young ChildrenISBN: 9781913913700
Millie and Oscar are ordinary children, but it all changes when they are introduced to Mr Wallatt, an eccentric scientist.
Millie, Oscar, and their friend Derek, learn that Mr Wallatt is an eco-warrior and a hoarder, who believes that everything should be recycled so the planet is deeply cherished. He is plotting to help migratory birds on their long seasonal flights by reinforcing the magnetic field at the North Pole using a giant battery and a large electromagnet from his attic.
In a separate part of the world, in Arizona, Jed Bronzovic, an astronomer, has been given the task of studying the asteroid belt. He finds a large asteroid made mostly of iron that has been diverted and may pass close by the Earth – he calls it Ferrus-11.
As Mr Wallatt, the children and their fast-running cat, Torpedo, make headway with their experiment, Jed calculates that Ferrus-11 is going to collide with the Earth and its impact may lead to complete loss of life on the planet. Warning broadcasts are made around the world, and it soon dawns on the three children that Mr Wallatt’s magnet may hold the key to deflecting the asteroid. With time quickly running out, can they complete the mission and save the Earth from destruction?
Peter Tyrer is Emeritus Professor of Community Psychiatry at Imperial College, London and Consultant in Transformation Psychiatry in Lincolnshire. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, a Fellow and Honorary Fellow (by Distinction) of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is still actively working and developing new approaches to chronic mental disorders. He has previously published 624 original articles and 41 books, mainly for specialist readers but sometimes for the general public. His latest book, Poleaxed, written about a viral epidemic in 1967 was written before the coronavirus pandemic. Millie & Oscar Go Loco is his first book for children, with the main characters based on his own grandchildren.
Fiona Marshall (Guest Review) - 15 Dec, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping – full of endearing characters and great for promoting scientific awareness
In Arizona, Jed the astronomer is panicking as he tracks the course of a lethal iron asteroid heading straight towards Earth. But, unknown to him, he has allies on the other side of the world. So, meet the endearingly dictatorial, seriously questing Millie, her likeable brother Oscar and their astute friend Derek. An efficient trio who, with the valued assistance of Torpedo the cat, set about saving the planet. Millie, the only one with any real sense and initiative in the town (apart from her esteemed grandfather, whom she clearly resembles) befriends Mr Wallatt, passionate ecowarrior disguised to the world as a crazy hoarder. Amid the typical trappings of the hoarder, such as blocked stairwells, rotting fruit, and rooms too crowded to enter, the children discover a powerful magnet, which offers a chance of deflecting the asteroid. In a race against time, they help Mr Wallett to get the magnet working properly. Will they succeed?
Beneath the gripping story, this book presents a parable about how the marginalised of society have something unique and visionary to contribute, and how their rubbish may be not just treasure but life-saving. It celebrates the gold of the less mentally ‘ordinary’ - a favourite word, though perhaps what Tyrer means by ordinary is not always how some of us may choose to define it - working on a miniature railway in someone’s front garden, for example, sounds enviably out of the ordinary. It’s also about holding to your inner vision in the face of others’ obtuseness and indifference – and living with their comic lack of awareness once mission has been accomplished.
And behind this lies a serious warning about a planet on a collision course with disaster. Will Tyrer be as prescient about this as he was with his novel Poleaxed, which dealt with a mystery virus in a small English village?