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Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review: The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch

Reading Level: Middle Grade
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Pages: 320
Series: 1st in the Young Inventors Guild trilogy
Acquisition: NetGalley

In 1903, five truly brilliant young inventors, the children of the world's most important scientists, went about their lives and their work as they always had.
But all that changed the day the men in black arrived.
They arrived to take twelve-year-old Jasper Modest and his six-year-old sister, Lucy he with his remarkable creations and she with her perfect memory from their London, England home to a place across the ocean they'd never seen before.
They arrived to take nine-year-old Wallace Banneker, last in a long line of Africa-descended scientists, from his chemistry, his father, and his New York home to a life he d never imagined.
Twelve-year-old Noah Canto-Sagas, already missing his world-famous and beloved mother, was taken from Toronto, Canada, carrying only his clothes, his violin, and his remarkable mind.
And thirteen-year-old Faye Vigyanveta, the genius daughter of India's wealthiest and most accomplished scientists, was removed by force from her life of luxury.
From all across the world, they've been taken to mysterious Sole Manner Farm, and a beautiful but isolated schoolhouse in Dayton, Ohio, without a word from their parents as to why. Not even the wonderful schoolteacher they find there, Miss Brett, can explain it. She can give them love and care, but she can t give them answers.(partial summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
A fabulous read! I've seen it described as young adult but I would put this one more in the middle grade category. I can really see 8-14 year olds loving it! I know I would have if I had read it at that age.

Also, I very much feel in love with Jasper, Lucy, Wallace Noah and Faye. Five very unique and very special children thrown together under almost unbelievable circumstances.  They have to find a way to work together and they do. There are a lot of heartwarming moments in this story and the love and compassion between the children and their parents and caretakers was a pleasure to read.

Have to say, I wasn't to fond of the 'mysterious men in black'. I have no idea what there deal is. Their appearance and mannerisms were a little too silly for me. The Atomic Weight of Secrets is the first in a series so I assume more will be revealed about these strangers in subsequent books.

Final verdict:
I'm a little surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. You see, when a story has so many interconnected pieces, I really need them to fit together in the end. A complete package as it were. In The Atomic Weight of Secrets, we get a lot of tiny pieces. A lot of bits and bobs of intrigue and mystery and family and a ton of the unknown. AND, they all don't quite fit together in the end. BUT, it actually really worked for me. I found myself drawn into the secrets behind it all.

A warm, fun read. Fans of middle grade books, especially mysteries and historic tales, I think will really enjoy The Atomic Weight of Secrets.

Overall Rating:
4 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Bancroft Press


  1. I ended up enjoying this book a lot, once it got going. I actually enjoyed the men in black if only for the crazy descriptions of their clothing although I'm not entirely sure how I may have to read more to figure out my full feelings.

  2. i fell head-over for this book too! it reminded me of Chronicles of Narnia in a lot of ways. i had no idea it was a series...and i just want to find out more NOW!

    thanks for the review. :)


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