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The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook: 04/21/10
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis won the 2009 Cybils award in the middle grade graphic novels category. It's the story of Julian Calendar coming to a new school and hoping to fit in by being one of the cool kids. Unfortunately he's a diehard geek and he's decided the way to gain friends is to act stupid and uninterested school.
This time though, things are different and not because Julian is successfully pretending to be an average student. Two other classmates have taken notice of his talents and have decided to recruit him. They do it ways only a super smart kid could figure out and he falls for the bait.
A few things put The Secret Science Alliance at the top of the list of nominees for me. First and foremost, the other two kids in the club aren't your stereotypical nerds (even though Julian is). Secondly the book is populated with a diverse cast of characters. Finally though, there's the artwork. There is an amazing amount of detail on many of the pages, pushing the boundary of the graphic novel. It's not a fantasy story with illustrations; it is a fully integrated dance between text and art.
I have heard that this book is the first of a planned series. I certainly hope so and look forward to reading the further adventures of Julian, Ben and Greta.
Comment #1: Thursday, July, 15, 2010 at 23:20:58
I enjoyed this one, too - it made me laugh out loud, and I loved all the clever gadgets.
Comment #2: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 18:44:00
It took me until the second read through to fall in love with it. But I've read it a third time since then.