To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Idaho author Brian Meehl is an award winning writer of children’s books, adding to his prestige as a writer of television shows (Between the Lions, The Magic School Bus) and as a Muppeteer on Sesame Street and in Jim Henson films. His books to date – SUCK IT UP, OUT OF PATIENCE, SUCK IT UP AND DIE, YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME, and The BLOWBACK TRILOGY, of which BLOWBACK ’07 is Book 1.
The author’s infectious prose works on every level, especially in a sci-fi time travel fantasy for your readers. He sets the tone for this airborne story in the opening lines: “Arky Jongler-Jinks ran along the trail winding through the woods. His gold shorts and singlet rippled in the cool air. As his running shoes sprang off the ground, his brain fired questions. If I’m running thirteen miles per hour and the earth spins at 800 mph, does that mean I’m running backwards at 787 mph” If I’m running backwards at 787 mph, shouldn’t I ne dumped on my a*s and turned into a skid mark? Arky concocted brainteasers when he raced to keep his mind off his aching legs an burning lungs.’ In that brief passage, so much of the novel’s content is suggested as we soon discover.
Meehl has provided a new summary for this fine book, presented just before the story begins: ‘‘Clashing teenage twins, Arky and Iris, uncover a family secret that triggers a battle spanning three centuries. It begins when Iris sends Arky’s troubled friend and a star quarterback, Matt, back to 1907 and the Carlisle Indian School. While Matt is forced to play football on the Indian team that will change football forever, Arky and Iris make a discovery that might bring him back and lead to the ultimate rescue: their mother who vanished a year before.’ Add to that the background of the following – ‘Arky and Iris have one thing in common: an ancient musical instrument left to them by their mother. When Iris plays the strangely curved woodwind, the trouble begins; Arky's friend, Matt, the school's star quarterback, disappears’ and the story becomes delightfully mystical!
This is a sparkling achievement in writing for youngsters – of any age! – and provides not only a fine adventure in time travel, but also adds witty asides, some history lessons, some romance and many tender moments. It is successful on every level. Very highly recommended. Grady Harp, February 21
Blowback '07: When the Only Way Forward Is Back (Blowback Trilogy Book 1) by Brian Meehl is an entertaining read full of football, history, and time travel. Foremost is football, this playing a major role in the storyline, as you travel back in time to the origins of the sport. A strange and mysterious musical instrument, a Cor Anglais, that seemingly transports you back in time, a mom's disappearance, Indian culture, and more feature prominently. Iris and Arky are the twin main characters, and when Iris plays the wind instrument, Arky's friend Matt disappears. All of this coalesces to create a fanciful book. The beginning of the story contains some offputting locker room talk, which kind of takes away from the character development. This detracts from the overall sense of the story and somewhat diminishes the historical and magical elements. However, if you can get past that aspect, this is a fine book and one that is certainly entertaining.
Forty-some years ago my uncle gave me a science fiction anthology. It was a thick red hardback that I read from cover to cover. It inspired a lifelong love of the genre. The stories in that book made me think outside the box. They filled me with awe for the imagination it took to write them. That book still remains in my collection today. The title is OMNIBUS OF SCIENCE FICTION, edited by Groff Conklin, a well-known and prolific editor of the genre. It was published in 1952, the Golden Age of Science Fiction. It’s a substantial volume, 562 pages, with 43 stories divided into sections relating to a common theme. Some stories are fun, some are thought-provoking, and some are adventurous. I love them all.
Blowback '07: When the Only Way Forward Is Back (Blowback Trilogy Book 1) by Brian Meehl is a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novel with brilliantly drawn characters and settings. The threads of storytelling are expertly woven in this sci-fi fantasy adventure that it guarantees the attention of the reader. A skillfully constructed time-travelling adventure interlaced with historical lessons, romance, and poignant moments, this book will have you turning the pages from beginning to end. In addition, the characters are drawn with great credibility and conviction.
I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book’s mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much. It’s a well-written sci-fi adventure with perfect pacing. Highly recommended and eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
Time-travel with a twist! A musical instrument sends other mysteriously into the past when its played. This book is the beginning of a trilogy, where warring twins Arky and Iris fight over most everything. Their latest fight is about a mysterious musical instrument left to them by their mother. When Iris plays it, Matt a friend of Arky gets sent back into time, 1907 to be exact. While Matt tries to survive in a unfamiliar time, the twins find secrets that they hope to unravel in time to bring Matt back. Will they be able to ever bring him back? Will they be able to work together? Great young adult adventure novel. Plenty of mystery throughout the book and the characters go through quite a development and maturing over the course of the book which is good as they were not so likeable in the beginning. I will certainly recommend this to my young nephews and nieces.
Blowback 07 is a teen and young-adult fiction story with time travel elements and sci-fi into the works. The story may not start as good or keep you questioning things; however, things pick up and get better as you read along. The characters were interesting, and the book is long, so if you're not into reading over 300 pages then, this isn't for you. I wasn’t a big fan of the book cover and thought it didn’t represent the fun story inside. Either way, I recommend this book to young adult readers and those who like to read sci-fi.
I like a good surprise. I know nothing about football. In fact, I do not like football. And this was the first surprise. How led by the expert hand of Brian Meehl's writing I entered the inner world of this sport and became enthused by it. The idea of time traveling into the past is fascinating to me. And the magic world of oboes and the cor anglais was the medium by which I succumbed to this intricate, historic, learning journey into the unknown. There are twists and turns and revelations populating this book enough to keep you reading late into the night. Rest assured: READING is still a thing. Of the present.
Blowback “07” by Brian Meehl is a really good story with side benefits. You’ll learn a lot of interesting things about 1907 football, schools for Native Americans and the cor anglais. It might stretch your vocabulary too - gibbous moon? Stayed up way too late to finish the book and can’t wait for the next installment.
I have never written a review of a book I've read, but here I go! This one deserves it! I picked it up on the recommendation of a friend. Not a typical choice for me. I am not a "young adult" nor am I a musician or a major sports fan. As a matter of fact, I know ZERO about football. But I found Brian Meehl's book to be so well researched, with fascinating information about an unusual instrument and the history of football ... woven into a captivating story line with endearing characters, time travel and romance. I loved it! Looking forward to the next book in this trilogy!
Blowback transports the reader back in time to explore a fascinating part of the real history of American football. I was entertained by the story while at the same time educated about a piece of football history I was unaware of. It made me miss my subway stop. Good read!
Arky and Iris are dealing with the disappearance of their scientist mother in different ways-- Arky is running, and hanging out with his football playing friends, and Iris spends more and more time playing the antique English horn that her mother left behind with a cryptic note. When Arky's friend Matt is accidentally sent back in time by the power of the musical instrument, the twins have a renewed hope that their mother might return. Matt, of course, is completely shocked to find himself at the Carlisle Indian School in 1907! He meets an ancestor of the twins who explains a little about the time travel to him, and it seems like Matt might be stuck in time until until he mends some of his ways. In the meantime, he meets Jim Thorpe and joins the Carlisle football team. Football in 1907 was very different from what it is today-- and so are the girls, like Tawny Owl, who is not only training to be a nurse but who has an unusual interest in football. While Arky and Iris are trying to figure out how the time travel works, can Matt manage to break away from 1907 in time to return to the present to win the championship football game for his own team?
I am excited to give this to my students who only want to read books about football, because it might get them interested in time travel stories or history. There are enough details about football, both past and present, that I didn't understand a lot of it. That is always my rule of thumb for a good sports book! The Carlisle school and institutions like it have appeared in children's literature before, but I've never heard about the football team, so this is a great topic. This is slightly more appropriate for high school (there is a party with some drinking, and a bit coarser language at parts), but nothing that would keep it from being a good choice for middle school students. I am looking forward to the two sequels.
It's my decided opinion that all historical novels should include football, and this is a fantastic choice for high school and upper middle grade readers who are interested in the sport.
Pair Blowback '07 with this nonfiction title:
Sheinkin, Steve. Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team January 17th 2017 by Roaring Brook Press