This book is Book 2 of the Young Inventors Guild and would be appropriate for a middle to high school student to read on their own. I don’t think I would use this as a classroom novel because it is so long and also because it is the second book in a series. If students haven’t read the first book, this would not be a good one to use for whole class instruction. It does involve magic and science which would appeal to many.
As I started reading this book it reminded me of a cross between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, A Wrinkle in Time, and Harry Potter books all thrown into one big pot. Since this was the second book in a series and I had not read the first one, I had a hard time figuring out the story line. There were a lot of references to the first book and I was wishing that I had read the first book before this one because I would have understood more about what was going on. The characters seemed already developed in this one and it was like walking into a party where everyone knew everyone else but I didn’t know anyone. There was some interesting twists that had me reading on though and I think I want to find the first book to see what I missed.
This book involves a group of children who are extremely smart and part of a group of special child inventors. The book begins with them already on an adventure and they don’t really understand why they are on this adventure and what is happening. The story unfolds as you read on about who is after them and why. They meet some interesting people as well as being surrounded by caretakers who are a mystery in themselves.
There were glimpses of familiar places and famous people which would be great for a child to learn more about. I could see parents reading this book along with their child and having interesting discussions. For example, Nicola Tesla appears and this becomes a great opportunity for a science lesson. Wouldn’t it be great if we were a child and met him in person! For those who like a good mystery with fascinating characters, this book is for them.