Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
Synopsis: A madcap “choose-your-own-adventure” style story in which the decision of what flavor of ice cream to get leads to a mad scientist’s laboratory, inviting time travel, alternate dimensions, and, maybe, the destruction of all human life! Meanwhile is brilliantly designed, allowing readers to follow branching, multicolored tubes to navigate thousands of different story possibilities. Packed with puzzles and secret paths, this one begs to be read again and again.
Themes: Problem-solving, quantum physics, learning about responsibility in a mad scientist’s lab.
Content Advisory: Some potty humor and bloodless mayhem/violence. Also the end of all life on the planet.
1. What was your favorite path through the book? How would you represent or map that path?
2. At some point during your trip through the book, you probably found the inventor describing “the Multiple Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.” Do you think that multiple worlds could possibly exist simultaneously? How does the design of this book relate to that idea?
3. Some people really don’t like this book. What is it about this book that may turn people off? How did you feel about the book?
4. Chocolate or vanilla?