The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook
by Eleanor Davis
Cover Artist: Eleanor Davis
Review by Gayle Surrette
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781599903965
Date: 01 September 2009 List Price $10.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Julian Calendar is excited when his family moves to a new town. He'll be starting at a new school and he's hopeful he can pretend to be normal and avoid the hazing he's had because he's smart and nerdy. It doesn't work well, he just doesn't fit in.
However, Julian gets noticed by Ben Garza and Greta Hughes. Ben is a sports hero and Greta is a prankster; but, they are also closet scientists. They also share an interest and admiration for Professor Andro Kablovsky, who they believe was the best inventor ever. Julian joins their secret club -- The Secret Science Alliance (SSA). There's a hidden clubhouse and lots of opportunities to invent stuff.
They manage to invent a Stink-O-Meter, Nightsneak Goggles, and even build a sort of working model of the Kablovsky Copter. Julian suggests they document their inventions in a notebook. Their notebook is lost and suddenly a local scientist is in the paper for having invented some of their projects. They must retrieve their notebook and in the process foil his plan to rob the city's museum.
The artwork is full color throughout the book. The characters are easily identified so that they don't get confused with others in the book even in class scenes. There are some panels where there are description bubbles to identify or explain object in the panel.
Highly enjoyable adventure with smart young people who love science and using their intellect.