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Top Secret

Top Secret

4.8 8
by John Reynolds Gardiner, Marc Simont (Illustrator), John Reynolds Gardner

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Despite the disapproval of his parents and his formidable science teacher, nine-year-old Allen determines to do his science project on human photosynthesis.


Despite the disapproval of his parents and his formidable science teacher, nine-year-old Allen determines to do his science project on human photosynthesis.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
If plants can photosynthesize, why can't humans? Allen Brewster thinks his idea for his fourth grade science project is stupendous, but everyone except his grandfather hates it. In proving his theory's possibility, Allen turns himself green and begins to grow roots. He also sets himself up against his formidable science teacher not to mention the security agencies of the United States government. This is a very funny satire on bureaucracy versus creativity. It's a great read, too. 1995 (orig.

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Meet the Author

John Reynolds Gardiner was born on December 6, 1944 in Los Angeles, California. Gardiner was told in high school that his grammar and spelling were so poor that he would never do well in college English. He didn't even read his first novel until he was 19. Gardiner also has a Masters Degree in Engineering from the University of California in Los Angeles. He has written a number of other books as well, including Stone Fox and General Butterfingers.

Marc Simont is an artist, political cartoonist, and illustrator of more than a hundred children's books. Simont and his wife live in West Cornwall, Connecticut.

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Top Secret 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do you always do what your teacyher tells you to do? Well,in the book Top Secret Allen the main character wouldn't do what his teacher told him to. If you don't like what your teacher assigns you then read this book. This story is about a boy who wants to become a human plant for his science fair project,but his teacher says no and gives him a lipstick project. He does it anyway and he see's a commercial on t.v. saying 'if you have a way to solve world hunger call this number.' Then he calls and the president invites him over. You will have to read this book to find out if his project works. The book in my opinion had nothing bad about it, it was all good it was crazy, creative and eye catching. I hope you will read this book and recommend it to others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
9 year old Allen wanted to find out if humans could photosympesys. When he found out how to he became a plant and wanted to tell the president.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the beginning I thought that the secret was like something personal or something he did that was wrong. But after a while I understood the secret. It was that Alan had made a formula that made people into real plants. He was working on a science project on the Human Photosynthesis. Also Alan wrote a letter to the president to prove to everyone that he had made himself into a plant. He had made it so people that needed food wouldn¿t starve. He also tried to go to the newspaper office and placed his picture on the newspaper so he would be noticed. But his teacher disagreed and said, ¿Why don¿t you do your project on lipstick?¿ Alan responded, ¿I want to do my project on Human Photosynthesis!¿ The characters of the book are Alan, The President, The Presidents assistant, Mom, Dad, and Ms.Green. My favorite character is Alan because he¿s a person who wants to be noticed and also because when he¿s into something he only concentrates on that. I would like to be him because he is really smart and talented but in other ways I wouldn¿t like to be him because he doesn¿t play any sport. If I could change anything is that I would make Alan play a sport.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thout it was awesome! I would highiy recomend this book to any person at all who likes books,loves science or just likes to read. This book is filled with excitement and fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very good science book on plants. It is also better then I thought. In this one part he drinks liver and other stuff like that. I think it would taste good. I would recommend this book for people that like science.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really cool. It was a science book. I liked the human photosyntheis part but the gross part was when he had drink the liver. Yuck.I also liked the part when he turned green.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. But I would have injoyed it more if I were a little younger. I'm 12, but I would recommend this book to someone who is ten or younger.Really good book though.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a third grade teacher, I loved this as a read aloud following our plant unit. Kids can make all kinds of connections. Others use this story to inspire kids not to be afraid to think outside the box. Your students will follow Allen's plan to develop human photosynthesis for his science project. Have fun as Allen has to take on his teacher (skeptic) and some FBI types out to keep his ideas quiet.