After the death of his mother, Albie feels even more alone. His father is an international scientists / tv personality, kind of like Bill Nye or that British guy I can't remember the name of. Anyway, his dad has little time for Albie.
Using his father's own logic, Albie decides that there must be a parallel universe out there where his mother is still alive. Using a banana, a cardboard box, his mother's laptop and the crazy neighbour's psychotic cat, Albie builds a machine to travel between universes.
Each world is slightly different than the one he knows. Well, there is that one world where dinosaurs don't exist. No, he doesn't land in a creationist museum, it's a completely different universe.
When I was a kid I loved Calvin and Hobbes, and this book has a very Calvin & Hobbes feel - when Calvin would build cloning devices and time machines, all out of cardboard boxes. I really liked Albie's determination and DYI attitude, there is a punk rock element to his actions.
There was also a movie with a young Ethan Hawke called The Explorers where a group of friends build a space rocket in their backyard. That movie was dripping with a sort of melancholy, just as Albie Bright does as well, for obvious reasons.
The Many Worlds of Albie Bright is also full of scientific facts, it's teaching you guerrilla style while you fly through the pages hoping this kid will find his mother. I really recommend it, you'll be better off after reading it.
I recommend this book for Years 7 and up!