The Minution Chronicles - Saving Zinitheron is a science fiction novel written for middle grade readers in which a tiny space alien convinces three seventh grade friends to journey with him into outer space to save his dying planet.
A mysterious poison has contaminated the atmosphere of Planet Zinitheron.Scientist, Zeetherious Zarnosis, holds the hopes of the remaining population in his hands as he struggles to come up with a plan to save his dying planet.Zeetherious ventures to Earth, a planet thousands of times larger than his own, and asks three seventh graders to help him in his hour of need. For these three seventh grade classmates, getting past the shock of an encounter with a space alien whose image magically appears on a PDA screen is one thing, but placing their faith in a miniscule stranger, agreeing to be shrunk to the size of amoebas, and travel into space, that requires something extra special. With Zeetherious at their side, Benny, Kelly, and Jonathon draw on their friendship, their faith and their belief in what is right to navigate through battles with bizarre space creatures, flying asteroids, and a dastardly villain, to save Zinitheron!
Zeetherious Zarnosis watched with amusement from thousands of miles away as Benny, Kelly and Jonathan stood in front of Mr. Bumpus' seventh grade science class, their working model of the solar system hovering above the heads of their classmates. The class was mesmerized, watching the planets orbit around the yellow, papier-mache sun. Mr. Bumpus stood off to the side. He too was awestruck at this most unusual sight.
Benny Bartholomew glanced back at his two best friends and smiled as he stepped forward to address the class. He grasped the wooden podium, and cleared his throat. Jonathan and Kelly rolled their eyes and shifted their weight. Zeetherious settled into his chair. This could take a while, thought Zeetherious.
"Most of us think that we understand our world." Benny paused, looking up at the floating planets. "We think we understand our time and place, where we are and what we are."
"Here we go again," whispered Kelly to Jonathan.
"We understand time. Time goes on, life goes on, we are born, we live and we die. Most of us think that there is only one time, and it is our time. But I ask you, does anyone know for sure?"
Grendle Ishpeming raised his hand, but he was always trying to answer questions when they weren't supposed to be answered.
Ignoring Grendle, Benny motioned at the planets floating in front of him.
"We understand the idea of space. We take up space. We live on the planet Earth, which is in space. We know that Earth is one of several planets in our solar system. We know that our solar system is in a galaxy of many other solar systems, in a universe of many galaxies."
The children in the class were in awe of the demonstration going on before them, planets spinning around suspended in the air, but to Benny they seemed to be hanging on his every word.
"We compare things in our space using measurements of size and distance, an inch, a mile, a micron, or measurements of time, a minute, a nanosecond or a month. We understand these units. A mile is longer than a foot, 5,280 times longer. A day is longer than a second, 86,400 times longer. This is easy for us to understand.
We accept things like the basic laws of nature as being true. We've learned how gravity works and what makes plants grow, for instance. We accept these laws because of our experiences, or we try things out just to see. Most of the time things work the way we thought they would. The question is this, is it possible to think about things differently?"
Grendle Ishpeming again raised his hand. Kristen Holcomb grabbed it before it reached his shoulder and thrust it back down.
"I mean completely differently. You may ask, why should I do that?" Benny questioned, again expecting no answer.
Kristen had hold of Grendle's arm this time. No other hands went up.
"Well, I believe that thinking about things in a different way helps us grow, makes us better able to learn and exercises our brains. Perhaps thinking about things differently even helps us to better understand things in our own world. Who knows, it may even be fun!"
Kelly was getting restless. She snuck up behind Benny and whispered, "Alright, come on, will ya?"
Benny turned, "Sorry, almost done," he whispered.
"Have you ever stood outside and looked up at the sky? Of course you have, but have you ever looked, I mean really looked and thought, really thought about how much there is out there? Have you ever thought about how much there is that you can't possibly know about? Some say, anything is possible, but do they really mean it? Have any of you really taken time to think about what could be?"
Benny took a breath and looked back at his partners. "So, how is it possible that these planets, this sun are hovering here above you? I'm sorry, but I'm not going to tell you. I will tell you one thing though. There is nothing magic about what we have done here. Every one of you can do incredible things. You can perform feats much greater than this. All you need is a firm belief that you can do whatever you put your mind to and oh yes, perhaps a little bit of luck."
I couldn't have said it any better myself, thought Zeetherious.