The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook
by Eleanor Davis
"The coolest graphics book that I have read in the last few years". That is it - end of review. You need not read any further; just grab, steal or buy the book. For those who are still lingering around (hopefully because you like my reviews - ahem! :)), here is the longer version of the review.
Julian Calendar, 11 year old nerd, is extremely happy about transfer to a new school. He thinks he can start a new chapter in the new school by acting cool, not answering any questions asked by the teachers and playing sports. But, it is just not him and he is found out easily as a nerd by two other kids - Greta Hughes, helmet-wearing kid whom every one is afraid of (including the teachers) and Ben Garza, basket ball player and a chemistry whiz kid. The three of them form a secret science club and invent away during their free time, hidden away from the eyes of the adults. The rest of the book deals with their inventions and how they thwart another evil scientist from stealing stuff from a museum and their own inventions.
The graphics novel is choc-a-bloc of intricate and detailed drawings and information. There are some full page spreads that are so detailed that it made me wonder how long the author took to write and illustrate this book. The book does not follow any specific page layout format and each double page gets its own separate treatment. The first page might contains pictures drawn in traditional comics format with each picture in its pane, while the next page would be completely different with no panes. There is a page where the pictures are shown in between a large clock with a full page dark background. It switches between various panes and formats effortlessly.
A lot of different themes like the insecurities of scientists, the kids who are bright but cannot do well in exams, kids completely against adults - are dealt in a subtle manner. My son loved the character of Ben Garza, who loves basketball and science - just like him. My daughter loved the character of Greta - the feisty girl. They continue to ask when the next book of this series would be released. I am not sure if this is a series, but, I would grab it if there is a next one.
It appeals to the nerd in me; it appeals the kids at home. Eleanor Davis, you are the best.
Go. Get it.