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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review: The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman

Age: 8+
Publication Date: March 2010
Tags: fiction, science, friendship, autism
Pages: 192
Series: no
Book Acquisition: bought used ARC

My Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Book Summary:
Science geek Eddy Thomas can invent useful devices to do anything, except solve his bully problem. Eddy Thomas can read a college physics book, but he can’t read the emotions on the faces of his classmates at Drayton Middle School. He can spend hours tinkering with an invention, but he can’t stand more than a few minutes in a noisy crowd, like the crowd at the science fair, which Eddy fails to win. When the local school crossing guard is laid off, Eddy is haunted by thoughts of the potentially disastrous consequences and invents a traffic-calming device, using parts he has scavenged from discarded machines. Eddy also discovers new friends, who appreciate his abilities and respect his unique view of the world. By trusting his real friends, Eddy uses his talents to help others and rethinks his purely mechanical definition of success. (from publisher's website)

Quick Thoughts:
A fun book that I think younger readers could really get a lot out of.

My Review:
I've always been a science geek at heart, so I wasn't surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Eddy was such a lovable character. Just getting through a normal day is tough for him. Not many people understand how his brain works sometimes, including Eddy himself. He sees things differently and sometimes when he acts on what he sees, he gets himself in trouble. It's never quite stated what form of autism Eddy has but overall, it doesn't really matter. For me, this book wasn't about a boy with autism, it was about a boy discovering who he is, making friends and learning to live his life.

It bothered me a little how Eddy didn't even realize he was being bullied. His friendships with Terry, Justine and Kip really made my day though. These were his real friends and it gave me such a good feeling seeing him discover this on his own.

All in all, a really great read by a great debut author. I'm really looking forward to more from Jacqueline!

Reminded Me Of:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Not a MG book but the Eddy reminded me of Christopher, the autistic teenager in The Curious Incident who also has trouble understanding human emotion.

Who Would Enjoy It:
Young readers who are interested in reading about a kid their age who is seen as 'different'. Older readers too I think will benefit from reading Eddy's story.

Linkage Love:
Publisher's website
Author's Website

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