footel, November 26, 2010 (view all comments by footel)
Fantastically clever book. While reading, I tried imagining which character I was most like, and then the end had a surprise quiz. After answering the questions you could find out which character you would be.
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Elizabeth L, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Elizabeth L)
This book manages to meet all of the conventions of successful YA novels without exceeding any of them. It wasn't clever enough, or gripping enough, or whimsical enough to sustain my interest or make me want to pick it up again after putting it down. I'm not compelled to pick up any of the sequels, though I would look for more of the illustrator's work were it to appear elsewhere.
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Jonathan, January 7, 2009 (view all comments by Jonathan)
A terrific book for both adults and kids, particularly those who love puzzles. Four kids, each talented in different ways, find themselves fighting a sinister plot to take over the world. There are wonderful characters with quirky names, Morse code and secret messages, action and adventure, exits and entrances.
It's a hefty book but a fast read and I can't wait to share this with others.
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crowyhead, July 2, 2008 (view all comments by crowyhead)
When Reynie, an extremely talented, orphaned young boy, answers a newspaper ad calling for gifted children, his life is changed forever. After a strange and confusing process of testing, he learns that he and three other children have been selected to help foil a plot and decide the fate of the world. This book is extremely long for a children's novel, and the subject matter is kind of strange, so it's going to draw a fairly small subset of the population. Those who stick with it will be amply rewarded, however; it put me in mind of a combination of From the Mixed-Up Files of Basil E. Frankwieiler by E. L. Konigsburg, and Momo by Michael Ende. It's definitely an enchanting adventure, and adults who aren't embarassed to be seen reading children's literature should check this one out.
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scout78, March 2, 2008 (view all comments by scout78)
This is one of the best books I have ever read. As a junior high English teacher, I am constantly reading and searching for great new authors. Trenton Lee Stewart is a refreshing, exciting author.
I ordered this book online and was a little disappointed when I received it because I hadn't thought to look at the page numbers. This book is BIG! I worried about trying to get one of my students to read this. After finishing this gigantic book in two days I quickly ordered three more so I could hand them out to some of my students as soon as possible. This book is fantastic. A great mix of suspense and drama with the puzzles incorporated - which I think will really appeal to those kids who can't get away from their video games...making the book a game is a great way to get kids to read.
Can't wait for more.
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Little, Brown Young Readers -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Stewart's (Flood Summer, for adults) first book for young people begins with a bang. Gifted 11-year-old orphan Reynie Muldoon is sharing the newspaper with his tutor when she excitedly points out an ad: 'Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?' She encourages him to take the series of tests cited in the ad, and the entire process resembles the otherworldly experience of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with puzzles within puzzles and tests within tests — some mental, some ethical, some physical. Ultimately three children pass the first test and go on to the next: Reynie, Sticky (born George) Washington and Kate Wetherall — all of them essentially orphans. A fourth, the 'very, very small' Constance Contraire, joins them later, and Mr. Benedict describes why he has brought them together. Initially, readers — like the four children — may be unsure of what to think about this mysterious gent: Is he hero or villain? Mr. Benedict has recruited them to foil an evil plan, devised by a mysterious 'Sender,' to brainwash the population via secret messages — delivered by children — embedded in television and radio programs. The plot-driven novel follows many adventures among the four, whose unique talents all come into play; readers will likely warm to each of them. A couple of concluding twists involving Kate and Connie may throw readers a bit, but these do not detract from the book's entertainment value or from the author's sound overall structure. Though the book is lengthy, readers will likely enjoy getting lost in this fully imagined realm. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by School Library Journal,
"Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure."
by Horn Book Magazine,
"With its lively style, fresh character portrayals, and well-timed revelations, this story flies past, thrilling us as it goes. Just be sure your flashlight batteries are well charged."
"The characters are well developed, mostly appealing, and evenhanded. Ellis's line drawings add a crowning flair. Do not miss this one. Buy two copies because they will be needed."
by Children's Literature,
"[A] feel-good story with a happy ending for the four orphaned and runaway children who find friendship and family."
Leo never imagined that time travel might really be possible, or that the objects in H. G. Wells’ science fiction novels might actually exist. And when a miniature time machine appears in Leo’s bedroom, he has no idea who the tiny, beautiful girl is riding it. But in the few moments before it vanishes, returning to wherever—and whenever—it came from, he recognizes the other tiny rider: himself!
His search for the time machine, the girl, and his fate leads him to the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a magical library that lends out objects instead of books. Hidden away in the Repository basement is the Wells Bequest, a secret collection of powerful objects straight out of classic science fiction novels: robots, rockets, submarines, a shrink ray—and one very famous time machine. And when Leo’s adventure of a lifetime suddenly turns deadly, he must attempt a journey to 1895 to warn real-life scientist Nikola Tesla about a dangerous invention. A race for time is on!
In this grand time-travel adventure full of paradoxes and humor, Polly Shulman gives readers a taste of how fascinating science can be, deftly blending classic science fiction elements with the contemporary fantasy world readers fell in love with in The Grimm Legacy.
Alexander Baddenfield is a horrible boy—a really horrible boy—who is the last in a long line of lying, thieving scoundrels. One day, Alexander has an astonishing idea. Why not transplant the nine lives from his cat into himself? Suddenly, Alexander has lives to spare, and goes about using them up, attempting the most outrageous feats he can imagine. Only when his lives start running out, and he is left with only one just like everyone else, does he realize how reckless he has been.
With its wickedly funny story and equally clever illustrations, this is dark humor at its most delicious.
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