Saturday, March 5, 2011

REVIEW - "The Atomic Weight of Secrets or the Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black"

The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in BlackThe Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1903, five truly brilliant young inventors, the children of the world's most important scientists, went about their lives and their work as they always had.
But all that changed the day the men in black arrived.
They arrived to take twelve-year-old Jasper Modest and his six-year-old sister, Lucy he with his remarkable creations and she with her perfect memory from their London, England home to a place across the ocean they'd never seen before.
They arrived to take nine-year-old Wallace Banneker, last in a long line of Africa-descended scientists, from his chemistry, his father, and his New York home to a life he d never imagined.
Twelve-year-old Noah Canto-Sagas, already missing his world-famous and beloved mother, was taken from Toronto, Canada, carrying only his clothes, his violin, and his remarkable mind.
And thirteen-year-old Faye Vigyanveta, the genius daughter of India's wealthiest and most accomplished scientists, was removed by force from her life of luxury.
From all across the world, they've been taken to mysterious Sole Manner Farm, and a beautiful but isolated schoolhouse in Dayton, Ohio, without a word from their parents as to why. Not even the wonderful schoolteacher they find there, Miss Brett, can explain it. She can give them love and care, but she can t give them answers.
Things only get stranger from there. What is the book with no pages Jasper and Lucy find in their mother's underwear drawer, and why do the men in black want it so badly?
How is it all the children have been taught the same bizarre poem and yet no other rhymes or stories their entire lives?
And why haven't their parents tried to contact them?
Whatever the reasons, to brash, impetuous Faye, the situation is clear: They and their parents have been kidnapped by these terrible men in black, and the only way they're going to escape and rescue their parents is by completing the invention they didn't even know they were all working on an invention that will change the world forever.
But what if the men in black aren't trying to harm the children? What if they're trying to protect them?
And if they're trying to protect them, from what?
An amazing story about the wonders of science and the still greater wonders of friendship, The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Mysterious Men in Black , the first book of the Young Inventors Guild trilogy, is a truly original novel. Young readers will forever treasure Eden Unger Bowditch's funny, inventive, poignant, and wonderfully fun fiction debut.  Description from GoodReads.

I thought of my children while reading this book. I was pondering which of them this book would appeal to. My 16 year old son loves science, and seeing that this has quite a bit of science in it, he might like it. My 13 year old daughter would abandon it because it drags quite a bit. My 11 year old athletic son wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole, and it is way to advanced for my seven year old. He loves science, so perhaps at a later date.

Five children are dragged from different parts of the world with their parents to Mid-Western United States.  They each have a different story and circumstances, but find themselves thrown together.  One thing that each of them have in common is they are all extremely intelligent. They begin to overcome differences and work together to achieve a common goal: to find their parents.  They come up with a fantastic invention along the way.

I found this book to be very interesting. It drags as it explains the back story. The costumes of the men in black are amusing. The genius of the children is incredible. In spite of circumstances, there is quite a bit of loving attention bestowed. The five children have been separated from their parents and are trying to cope with the curve balls that life has thrown at them. They really do quite well.

If the story were a little faster paced it would have been a five star book.  The pulishing date for this book is 3/15/11.  Thank you Bancroft Press and Netgalley for making this book available and letting me read it.

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