Simon Bloom, the Gravity Keeper

Common Sense Media says

Sci-fi page-turner with a few character flaws.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Fantasy fights with injuries that are later magically cured; a particularly vicious game of dodgeball with injuries.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is some fantasy violence here, with minor injuries, but nothing graphic or brutal.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Simon is walking through woods he never noticed before when a book falls out of nowhere onto his head. It's The Teacher's Edition of Physics, and is filled with formulae that allow him to manipulate the laws of the universe. This opens him not only to amazing abilities, but also to the knowledge of the Union, groups of people in the various sciences who keep the universe functioning. But now that he has the book, there are those who want to take it from him, and they have abilities even more amazing than his.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

First, the good news. This is just a brilliant idea, and leaves room for limitless possibilities to be explored in the imaginations of readers, as well as in future volumes of what, presumably, is intended to be a series. The tie to science is handled very well. For instance, Simon and his friends are able to move faster by locally and temporarily altering the laws of friction and gravity, and first-time author Michael Reisman provides just enough explanation of the real science behind that for it to make some sense. The metafictional aspect of having the Narrator become a character in the story adds yet another layer of interest and future possibilities. The story is exciting, the pacing is excellent, and it's loads of fun. Young readers will love it.

But ... the author makes rookie mistakes with his characters. The three lead kids are fine, if rather one-dimensional. But in a misguided attempt at humor, nearly all of the adults in the story act like moody, spoiled, snarky, and rather dim-witted children. They'd be unbelievable in any book, but as the masters of the universe they simply detract from the truly awe-inspiring ideas; It's simply impossible to take any of them seriously. The author has come up with a premise that has tremendous potential power, but then dilutes it with weak attempts to be silly. Your kids will enjoy it anyway, but this could be a series that rises to something far more than mere entertainment -- if the author can take some in-depth lessons on character before the next one is finished.

Families can talk about...

  • Families who read this book could discuss the science involved. What scientific ideas does the book mention? How does it play with them? Are the ways it plays with them possible?

Book details

Author:Michael Reisman
Genre:Fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dutton Children's Books
Publication date:February 1, 2008
Number of pages:298
Publisher's recommended age(s):9
Read aloud:9
Read alone:10

This review of Simon Bloom, the Gravity Keeper was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families