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Summary: Julian Calendar has just arrived at Mosburg Junior High. He is an ultra-geek, but he's determined not to let anyone know it, so he works hard to fit in. But by the end of the second day his cover is blown! Turns out the school bully and star athlete are just like Julian - they're scientists. When the team discovers that the evil scientist is going to steal an art treasure using one of their inventions they needed to come up with something even bigger! This is a graphic novel mystery for preteens.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, reluctant reader, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 13
Interest Level: 8 to 13
Reading Level: 3.5
Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: "This is awesome!" It took a little bit of prodding ("look there's a girl scientist") to get interest in this one, but then our daughter couldn't put it down. She had this one devoured in one day.
Adult Reader Reaction: I still find graphic novels tough to read, but this one keeps most of the text flowing along as you'd expect on a "regular" page. It also gave me a chance to build my "picture reading" skills a little more.
Pros: Lots of action, fun inventions, and an evil scientist will grab kids' interest n this fast-paced graphic novel.
Cons: Some of the illustrations are very detailed and have tons of little "notes" pointing things out. Although graphic novels are great for dormant readers the amount of stuff coming off the page can be overwhelming for some
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a fun read for kids who like adventure, science, and using their imagination.
Educational Themes: The author does open the door to talking about how you judge people (both adults and kids), but he walks a fine line with the "dumbing down" that Ben, Greta and Julian represent.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.