Reviews for Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook


Booklist Reviews 2009 July #1
*Starred Review* This first (if we're lucky) in a new series of middle-grade graphic novels finds 10-year-old science nerd/wizard Julian Calendar entering a new school where he hopes to find the popularity that's eluded him all these years. Instead, he finds athlete Ben and "bad girl" Greta to be unlikely fellow gadgeteers. And their science alliance comes together not a moment too soon, as there's trouble brewing around a sneaky scientist looking to snatch the team's own invention notebook. Davis, who proved capable of similarly charming work with the TOON book Stinky (2008) for younger readers, celebrates smarts and blows apart nerdy stereotypes, all while piling on crazy gadgets and delivering lessons as to what's really valuable in life (hint: not popularity). Her figures have the rounded solidity of a (much) less intense Chris Ware, and her rooms are crowded with technology young readers will spend hours picking through. Some of the more feasible inventions are even accompanied by schematics for really motivated readers. This heaping helping of fun recalls the gee-whiz wonderment of Johnny Quest cartoons and, hopefully, paves the way for a whole new generation of bright, can-do kids in smart, edifying adventures. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
The secret invention notebook belonging to eleven-year-old Julian Calendar and his friends is stolen by an evil inventor. It's up to the young scientists to save their inventions and prevent another theft. This action-packed graphic novel also touches on issues including friendship and bullying. The cartoon-filled pages are visually stimulating but make the story somewhat difficult to follow. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2009 July #2
Julian Calendar has a plan to avoid being a friendless nerd at his new school: Play dumb and pretend to love sports. Two weeks later, he's not been labeled a nerd, but he still has no friends. Then an encrypted invitation arrives. Julian is surprised to find supposed trouble-maker Greta and superjock Ben waiting to invite him to join their inventor's club, and the Secret Science Alliance is born. The three happily invent in their secret underground clubhouse until they incur the disdain of stodgy, mean, local inventor Dr. Stringer. When their idea book vanishes, there's only one suspect. In getting the book back, the SSA uncovers an even more dastardly plot. With its frenetically eye-catching, full-color panels chock-full of humorous and informative detail, Davis's first (of many, one hopes) graphic adventure of the SSA pumps new life into the kids'-secret-society formula. With its bounty of factlets slipped in for learning on the sly, it's a sure kid and teacher pleaser--a perfect package for tweens. (Graphic fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal BookSmack
Ultranerd Julian Calendar hopes he can hide his supersmarts at his new junior high so he can fit in, but then he meets Ben and Greta, two closet brainiacs like himself. The trio forms a secret club with a high-tech hideaway to design goofy and inventive gadgets, all rendered in wildly detailed art. Then an evil scientist grabs their inventions to pull off a midnight heist. Can they foil his plot? The feisty Greta is African American.-Martha Cornog, Philadelphia Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2009 November/December
When his family moves, Julian, a science geek who did not fit in at his previous middle school, becomes friends with two science nerds who share his passion for inventing. This graphic novel moves at a swift pace as our trio become detectives when their secret book of inventions is stolen. With the use of their inventions, they recover their stolen book and anonymously turn in the thief. The illustrations feature maps, captions, and blueprints of inventions done by the three young geniuses. On a few pages, the captions overlap, so it makes the reading difficult. This book will definitely appeal to those students who have a passion for science and adventure. Additional Selection. Patricia Perret Megerle, Library Media Specialist, Ridgeview Elementary, San Antonio, Texas [Editor?s Note: Also available in paperback (978-1-59990-396-5).] ¬ 2009 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September

Gr 3-7-Julian Calendar, 11, is a supersmart transfer student trying desperately to fit in at his new middle school. Just when he starts to believe that he'll never find his place, he discovers two other brilliant minds and together they form the Secret Science Alliance. These three braniacs create their own book of blueprints for such cunning creations as "the stinkometer," sticky and dangerous gluebombs, and the flying "Kablovsky Copter." However, their blueprints are stolen by evil Dr. Stringer, who has plans for them. Davis's first long-form comic is packed full of detail down to every minute tool in the Alliance's workshop, and the flying words and panels move the story at a quick pace. Davis's creativity is evident from the myriad gadgets and schemes of the story. Children will see, through these inventions and the triumph of the protagonists, that science can be cool.-Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Kearns Library, UT

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