Expand Your Universe by Visiting The Universe Next Door

Designed, like The Universe Next Door, to cultivate and nurture a love of reading, spark interest in the sciences, and demonstrate the power of the human imagination, supplemental materials and related event opportunities include:

The Game’s Afoot!

Over 90 quotes and references to classic literature—books, plays, poetry, music and folklore—mentioned in The Universe Next Door are now available as a child-friendly supplement to the book. The wide range (from bits of nursery rhymes to some of the silliest lines Shakespeare ever penned) will soon form the basis of on-line games, suggested classroom activities, and an instructional guide for strengthening literacy.


This game, played by The Universe Next Door characters, will be coming to this website. “Play against Max, the silly, computer generated sidekick in The Universe Next Door.”

Interactive Workshops and Talks: As a teacher, writer and experienced speaker and workshop presenter, I enjoy encouraging positive attitudes toward learning, especially in science and literature. Examples of the presentations designed for educators, library associations, student groups, bookstore engagements, environmental groups, etc. are:

Science: “The Secret Universe of Science” Science is all around us—hidden in plain sight. Scientists come in every shape, size, color and age. Examples come from our universe and The Universe Next Door.

Science: “The Invention Dimension” Invention starts with a problem. Pick one and be the first to invent the solution! The inventions described in the Universe Next Door are used as models for understanding and utilizing the invention process.

Writing: “Create a Universe” Much of our universe was imagined by writers of the past. Imagine our future. What will it be like? What things will be different or the same? The future starts now!

Reading: “For the Love of Literature” Katy and Will, the major characters in The Universe Next Door, and even Max, the computer generated side-kick, love books, and their behaviors illustrate the relevancy of literature in modern life. Throughout the story they use what they have read to problem-solve, cooperate without loosing individuality, strive for maturity, provide entertainment and to enrich all of life’s experiences. The encouragement they find in books provides the strength to maintain honor, hope, and a sharp sense of humor and fun.

Reading/History: “Half a Century Ago” What was life like for Katy in 1951? What do we take for granted that she could only imagine? What did she know that we have forgotten?

Ecology: “High Tech and Green” The Universe Next Door reminds the reader of the value of our vanishing natural environments and suggests ways that a technology oriented society can also maintain, benefit from, and appreciate the wonders of nature.

Idea Folding 101 By using the power of creative thinking or idea folding (and maybe a little something extra in the physiology of her brain!) Katy is able to fold space-time as well. This is an introduction to the skill of “folding ideas”—making the connections that lead to an interesting today, an exciting tomorrow, and maybe even The Universe Next Door!