If you've read Jack McDevitt's Ancient Shores and then come to Falling Bakward, you can be forgiven for thinking that South Dakota sure seems to have inordinate number of portals to other planets on its farmlands. The one in Falling Bakward is discovered by a youngster named Jerry Ingram, whose father is a notably unsuccessful sunflower farmer with a lot of secrets in his past. In fact, just about everyone in Jerry's family has secrets, not the least of which is their telepathic abilities.
Jerry's discovery of the portal to other worlds is complicated by a lot of things, the most dangerous of which is the alien race known as the Kree. Rather than describe them, I direct your attention to the cover image on the left. Having preyed for millenia on the Bak, they're really happy to discover another food source in humans.
There's a lot going on in Falling Bakward, but the story flows well and is easy to follow. The Bak are an engaging race, and the Kree are suitably terrifying. I can almost see this as a '50s monster movie, but with much better characterization. Lots of thrills, plenty of suspense, and widescreen action.
Melton's publishing his work through his own Wire Rim Press, and the books are available in all kinds of formats from print to iPhone to Kindle. If you're looking for YA science fiction in the sense-of-wonder vein, check out Falling Bakward in some format or other and see what you think.