The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

Eleanor Davis, Author . Bloomsbury $10.99 (154p) ISBN 978-1-59990-396-5

Meet red-headed Julian, glasses-wearing science geek. Starting at a new junior high school, Julian is determined to hide his intelligence and his interests in order to be more like a normal kid and in hopes of not getting bullied and teased. Two unlikely figures emerge from the crowd: Greta, a tough girl known to be a “dangerous maniac,” who wears a bike helmet at all times, and Ben, talented athlete and supposed “dumb jock.” Julian is surprised to find that these two share his love of science, and the three form the titular alliance, inventing pranks and contraptions, and stopping a crime. Everything about this very original story works. The ebullient characters are well-defined and well-designed; dramatic tension rises and falls at just the right pace; dialogue is snappy, funny and real; and the art is stunning. Davis uses Rube Goldberg/Chris Ware techniques to create splashy and bright pages filled with curious machines, maps, diagrams and closeup details of secret laboratories. The story is sprinkled with inventions (including the “Distract-a-Dad,” “Stinkometer,” and “Secret Science Submarine”) and facts about science, all designed to enthrall young readers with its sense of discovery. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/07/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-1-59990-143-5
Hardcover - 153 pages - 978-1-59990-142-8
Prebound-Glued - 153 pages - 978-0-606-14371-4
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