About the Book

Amazing adventures can happen in the blink of an eye—in between heartbeats—in The Universe Next Door.

Back in 1951, 10-year-old Katy Jo Conroy thought she understood everything–except for the strange visions that turned out to be calls for help from a parallel universe, The Universe Next Door.  Now it’s clear that she understands nothing at all.  How can she hope to find out what’s wrong, much less do anything about it, when nothing there seems right?  But Katy, along with Will (who looks enough like Billy, the safety patrolman, to be his twin brother) and Max (a silly computer construct with a passion for theater and a tendency to overact) must solve this problem–and solve it fast–or everyone in both universes could face disaster.

The Universe Next Door, by J.K.C. Brown, is a 21st century Wizard of Oz, science fiction adventure laced with the wonder of A Wrinkle in Time and the fun of Doctor Who.

Combining their talents—computer savvy, American Indian lore, a love of reading, a mastery of acrobatics, and more—provides the strength the main characters need to save the day. And with touches of the familiar (computers, escalators, and things made of plastic are brand new to Katy) and loads of surprises, like an ultra thin robot that folds itself into a backpack, readers are encouraged to consider the marvels of today and the infinite possibilities of the future.

Reading and Science play major roles in The Universe Next Door. Katy and Will love books and use what they have read to enrich all of life’s experiences. Science is their exciting side-kick—allowing imagination to become reality.

The Universe Next Door, as science fiction, offers the fun of fantasy with the encouragement of possibility. Is it possible to meet the challenges of living in a rapidly changing, technology based society while respecting the value of our vanishing natural environment? Is it possible to prevail over tyranny?

The Universe Next Door says “yes”. —And there’s no need to call on a comic book hero to do it. In this story Katy, Will, and their friends reveal the secrets of achieving true superhero status:

Think for yourself. Life is more exciting as a creator than as just a consumer.

Cooperate with others. It leads to astonishing accomplishments that have the power to change the world—and may even lead to The Universe Next Door!