The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

 
Smart kids, no violence; great pick for kids new to comics.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Real-life inventors are referenced throughout the book, but the inventor in which the Super Science Alliance gives its allegiance to -- Professor Kablovsky -- is a fictional character.  Also, many scenes are drawn from the school perspective, so Julian can be seen correctly answering most of his teacher's questions.

Positive messages

Shows kids celebrating their smarts and inventing new and unique gadgets.

Positive role models

Greta, Ben, and Julian are all proud of their intelligence, even though it takes a little while for Julian to get there. Julian stays positive even after he takes some ribbing from fellow students. The Super Science Alliance stands up for right and are great friends to boot.

Violence & scariness

Julian is taunted for being a brainiac , but it's never physical abuse, just slight ribbing.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the Secret Science Alliance identifies the evil culprit who stole their invention notebook towards the end of the book, they do not resort to violence to solve their problems -- they use their brains and their clever inventions to save the day. Julian and the rest of the gang are great kids who support each other and show what true friendship is really like.

What's the story?

Julian is new to town, and he wants to revamp his image from book-smart nerd to super-cool kid. But one day he receives a cipher that, after decoding, tells him that there are people who want to meet him. Lo and behold fellow students Greta and Ben have their own club where they draw, invent things, and celebrate their brains. Thus, the Secret Science Alliance is born. Armed with their shared love of (fictional) scientist Andro Kablovsky, the gang sets about inventing cool gadgets and keeping a top-secret notebook of all their schematics. But when the Alliance finds out that their top-secret invention notebook has been swiped, they launch a plan of action that will knock the culprit's socks off!

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Writer and illustrator Eleanor Davis brings science and inventions to life with this funny comic book that celebrates smarts and shows that friends can be found in all walks of life. Her engaging illustrations really keep the reader on their toes and the story moves along at a smart pace. The characters are funny and caring and readers will be curious to see if three smart kids can outsmart one very smart villain. With their super inventions and great attitudes, the Secret Science Alliance will blast their way into every reader's heart.

Eleanor Davis does a superb job of illustrating this wonderful comic book. The drawings and panels expertly show Julian's crowded room and the Secret Science Alliance's secret hideout (among many other locations) with all their charms and hidden treasures.  Eleanor doesn't stick to the traditional comic book style layout, she mixes in sideways panels and writing that really keeps the reader on their toes!

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about inventions!  What kind of crazy invention ideas do you think that other kids your age would like?

  • What would you invent to stop a ruthless burglar without violence?  What would you do to stop them in their tracks without causing anyone harm?

  • The Secret Science Alliance are proud of their brains!  What thing do you most like about yourself?  What do you like best about your friends?

Book details

Author:Eleanor Davis
Illustrator:Eleanor Davis
Genre:Humor
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:September 1, 2009
Number of pages:160
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Read aloud:8
Read alone:8

This review of The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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Kid, 11 years old September 7, 2012
age 6+
 

the secret science alliance

it was a good book for kids that interested in science, it in comic so they can understand easily.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 5 and 9 year old Written bymail4jen November 11, 2010
age 9+
 

Totally engaging for 9 year old boys, struggling with being "smart"

LOVE IT. My 9 year old read this book over and over, I have never ever seen him take to a book like this.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 6 and 7 year old Written byH2Clark November 10, 2010
age 7+
 

Great Story with just the right twists and laughs.

Just finished this book with my 7 yo son. It was fantastic. He is fasinated with older kids (the kids in the book are Jr. High age) and I was worried that this would get too iCarly-ish. It completely touched on it, then created a fantastic story that had us belly laughing, and rooting for the three main characters! Thanks CSM for a great recommendation.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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