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Posted August 18, 2011
Each character is presented well as the story progresses. I liked watching the bonding of the kids as they worked together and puzzled over their predicament.
Meanwhile their genius brains come together to create and invent.
For Alice in Wonderland fans like me, there are mentions and references that blend in well and just tickle.
Posted May 5, 2011
Science, invention, and mystery come together in this wonderful book by Eden Bowditch. Five children (Jasper, Lucy, Wallace, Noah, and Faye) find themselves in school together, away from their families and friends. Each has a scientific gift, and at first, none of them realized that each is part of an overall puzzle. As they work on their individual experiments, they worry about their families and what has happened to them. The children find enjoyment in each other and in their experiments, but they want to go home but they are watched constantly. The "Men in Black" are interesting characters who are keeping the children against their will. Why are they being held away from their families? Will any of these talented young people escape the Men in Black and return to their homes and families? How long will it take for them to figure out that they are more powerful both as a team and in their inventions?
This novel wonderfully combines the love of science and math with youth and teamwork. It is geared for children and young adults, but everyone will enjoy the fun and intrigue this book brings. I highly recommend it for family libraries as it is a book that lends itself to being shared during family time. I will be buying copies for my grandchildren. Thank you to Net Gallery and Bancroft Press for the opportunity of getting a preview copy for my Nook!I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Posted April 11, 2011
The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black was an original tale with well-developed, sharp characters. Lucy, Jasper, Wallace, Noah and Faye were left alone without warning and without any explanation. It was good to encounter clever characters that were far from average children. They stood out, knew that they were different and accepted it.
Written well with attention to detail, the story unfolded slowly. For once, I liked how the author took her time. I am used to fast-paced novels and I crave the usual urgency and intensity of a story. But the slow pace of this novel proved to be good. That way, I was able to soak the story in, to pay more attention to the details. Although sometimes I found the story dragging, I was highly interested in reading about the family life and school life of each character. I got to know them really well. I sympathized and felt for them. Being the kids of scientifically focused parents was far from easy. They craved more time with their parents, attention and most of all, love. Each one of them had their own issues to deal with at home and at school. Being young and brilliant had a price.
The mysterious men in black were truly very mysterious. They wore a range of black clothes - from simple to weird to bizarre. They spoke from one-syllable answers to a confusing jumble of words and sometimes, they didn't talk at all. They baffled me a lot. It was fun reading about them but the anonymity, the absence of knowledge about their identities drove me mad, hungry for answers. Part of the reason why I kept reading on, aside from enjoying reading about the inventors, was that I wanted to know who they were, if they were part of some kind of scientific society or a group who wanted to abuse scientists and take over the world.
Each one of the main characters has a contribution to the brilliant invention. It was pure genius. While they were working on this and staying at Sole Manner Farm with the lovely Miss Brett, they discussed endlessly about their situation, their parents' situation and their escape plans. They were worried about their parents and they wanted to try to escape so they could get to them, or if the mysterious men in black were holding them against their will, try to save them no matter how impossible and difficult that was. Their dedication to their work and to their parents was strong. I liked how they wanted to explore the possibilities, work as a team and try to turn these possibilities into reality.
The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black is a unique, fun and imaginative debut with outstanding characters. This is perfect for patient readers and readers who love adventures and historical/science novels.