the cool plaque hanging on the wall over my left shoulder. Earning such nice recognition from a group like this is the best.
Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? answers the
question--if it still needs to be asked--of whether a graphic novel can be as educational and entertaining as a standard book. Yes it can--perhaps it can do even more.
This is a book that can be enjoyed on a number of levels. There are some wonderfully sly and ironic asides that only a careful reader will spot. But mostly the book takes us on an enjoyable ride through the imagination of a young child from the 1930s onward. The personal tales show how America's love of space sciences and the promise of the future rose on lofty national dreams of a bright future where science cured all problems, only to be slowed by a mixture of cynicism and reality. Its examination of futures past is fascinating, especially to comapre them so closely side-by-side.
It would be a pessimistic finale, to look at how many of the dreams of prior decades did not happen, if not for the book's ending, which says something very important that few books for adults or youth ever capture--and certainly not as well as this book. In short, it shows how not reaching the dreams of the past is not always a bad thing, as long as they are replaced by newer, smarter, better dreams, based on new ideas, new experience, and a fresh sense of wonder.
We can't imagine a better time for young people to hear this inspiring message, and this book delivers it with grace and style.