Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor

Jon Scieszka, illus. by Brian Biggs. Abrams/Amulet, $13.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1218-0
Scieszka (the Spaceheadz series) pulls in an array of scientific, cultural, and historical allusions and references—Einstein and Frankenstein, sure, but also James Bond, Edison vs. Tesla, the CERN particle collider, and more—in this first book in the Frank Einstein series, loosely based around the subject of matter. Not unlike Shelley’s Frankenstein, science whiz Frank is trying to animate a robot he’s built in his garage lab. Frank doesn’t succeed, but in one of the happy accidents that pepper scientific history (ahem, penicillin), Frank inadvertently lays the groundwork for the creation of two “self-assembled artificial-life” entities named Klink and Klank, fashioned from Shop-Vacs, Casio keyboards, and other mechanical detritus. The antimatter motor Frank whips up next for the science fair leads to a confrontation with his nemesis. Biggs’s (the Everything Goes books) two-color cartoons and diagrams run the gamut from silly to scientific, and the same holds true of Scieszka’s story. In refusing to take itself too seriously, it proves that science can be as fun as it is important and useful. Ages 8–12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/16/2014
Release date: 08/26/2014
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