Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

I try to read as much as possible, but there are books that have sat on my shelf for years. I am sad to say that this one, The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook, is one of those books. I say sad because this book is utterly wonderful and enjoyable, and I was depriving myself of a great pleasure by not reading it all those years. The art is exceptionally fun and detailed, the story brisk yet substantive, and the whole enterprise crackles with energy, humor, and inventiveness.

The plot begins with a nerdy young science enthusiast Julian gets transferred to a new school.

Shunned in the past for being too smart and into science, he tries to hide who he is, only to become friends with two disparate kindred spirits and form the titular Secret Science Alliance. Teamed with school jock Ben Garza and notorious troublemaker Greta Hughes, the trio come up with all kinds of wonderful gadgets, including bouncy shoes, retrieval drones, and a flying machine.
Hidden away in their secret headquarters, life is pretty great for these friends until an unlikely rival catches wind of their work and steals their notebook of inventions.There is so much to love about this book. It features brilliantly designed, interesting characters. The inventions are fun, fascinating, and wonderful to behold. The artwork is full of eye-popping detail, vibrant colors, excellent storytelling, and so much expression. I cannot recommend this book enough. Go and get it now!

This book is the creation of Eleanor Davis, who worked on it with her husband Drew Weing and friend Joey Weiser. Davis has won a few accolades, including the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award, and has a number of books for adult (How to Be Happy and You & A Bike & A Road) and younger readers (Stinky) to her credit. She speaks about much of her work and career in this interview.

All of the reviews I read have heaped great praise on this book. Elizabeth Bird wrote, "This is the kind of title that rewards the reader over and over again." Kirkus Reviews gave it a starred review that concluded, "With its bounty of factlets slipped in for learning on the sly, it’s a sure kid and teacher pleaser—a perfect package for tweens." Jason Azzopardi admired that it was full of "exuberance, stimulation and the love of possibility."

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook was published by Bloomsbury, and they have more info about it here.

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