Friday, June 24, 2011

what took me so long?

We're just tipping into the first full week of summer and I've been to the public library three times. This is good. Summer reading is an activity that all my kids and I enjoy. I have to thank my daughter Jenna for bringing home a really great graphic novel: The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook.

Usually, I don't read the comic books, junior manga or graphic novels that my kids bring home. I'm delighted that they are reading them.....but graphic novels slow me down. I don't want to have to look at all the pictures to get the story. I just want to read the words and get the story that way.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copy Cat Crook was different in that once I started reading it I just settled into the fun of the story of three kids with passions for science and inventing. Greta, Ben and Julian are all science-nuts....so much so that they try to hide it so as not to be considered too geeky by their peers at school. The three work on their inventions in a secret underground lab that they have built and hang out in. While they are building, each of them helps the others not feel so geeky or out of step with their real worlds...very positive message for kids that like learning.

One day, one of the inventions devised by the S.S.A has literally landed them inside the confines of a local research laboratory where a grouchy old scientist steals the kid's notebook of invention ideas while shoo-ing them away as silly, prattling children. However, the kids soon learn that the scientist begins to rip off their ideas, gaining fame and fortune. In the process of stealing their prized notebook back, the kids discover that grouchy Dr. Stringer is planning a heist of the city's history museum. Quickly, the kids devise a plan to not only get their notebook out of the clutches of the mean old copy cat scientist but to foil the heist and save the day.Will the kids accomplish the tall order of all their plans and remain a Secret Science Alliance? Only those who read the book to its conclusion will find out.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook is a book that each of my kids brought to me and said, "Mom, you've gotta read this one." I'm glad I did. I love that this book makes it cool to be smart and that the heroes are regular kids, worried about being geeky but supported in their love of learning by their friends. It's a great message inside a very cool book full of diagrams, maps, sidebars, charts....all sorts of cool graphics that make the book feel like a scientists invention notebook. I don't know what took me so long to pick up one of their graphic novels to enjoy.....some of them are really cool books!

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook has earned the following awards:


Book List “Top 10”

Cybils Award …an award for graphic novels

YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee


Davis, E. The Secret Science Alliance. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010. Print.

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