cover image Journal of a Teenage Genius

Journal of a Teenage Genius

Helen V. Griffith. Greenwillow Books, $12.95 (121pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07226-1

In her recent picture books, Georgia Music and Grandaddy's Place, Griffith displayed a gentle, wry humor. In this novel, she pulls out the stops with a much zanier wit. In fact, when readers first encounter Zack, a journal-keeping genius, they may not know if the results of his experiments are being greatly exaggerated, or if Zack's telling the truthhe is. He turns a poodle (temporarily) into a boy; invents a growing solution that causes him to shrink on a date with Loretta; and uses a time machine to go back into the past (but not centuries back, just a couple of years, where he meets an old enemy and paves the way for present-day friendship). He also helps Loretta's grandfather return to his homea place not of this earth. There is a rat-a-tat pace to the prose; readers, like Zack, will find themselves in and out of situations at head-spinning speed. An upbeat fantasy with a joyfully optimistic hero at its helm. Ages 8-12. (August)