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Return of the Homework Machine: 03/04/10
With all the recent hullabaloo over the whitewashing of covers for tween and young adult literature, I've been paying more attention to the cover art in the children's wing of my library. Return of the Homework Machine by Dan Gutman jumped out at me because of it's diverse cast of characters on the cover. The title also reminded me of The Secret Science Alliance, a graphic novel I was reading for the Cybils.
Return of the Homework Machine is the sequel to The Homework Machine which I haven't read but plan to. The story is told as a series of interviews just as Anita Shreve's Testimony is. I think Gutman did a good job of finding individual voices for each person testifying especially since it's a mixture of sixth graders and adults.
What pulled me into the novel though was the delightful combination of location (the Grand Canyon), and exotic treasure (and Egyptian burial) and danger (a strange man who is after the indestructible chip that made the homework machine so powerful). Seriously, this was like reading a tween version of a Clive Cussler mystery. I loved it.