A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn about New York City in the 1890s and 19th century celebrities Mark Twain, electrical engineer and futurist Nicola Tesla, and African -American inventor Louis Lattimer. They'll see the Dewey Decimal Classification System at work with the creation of call numbers for unlikely objects such as time machines.
This novel praises a "can-do" approach to solving problems, honoring imagination and creativity.
Positive Role Models
The only one in his family who isn't a scientific genius, Leo surprises everyone -- including himself -- when he's able to solve the mystery related to H.G. Wells' time machine. His search demands ingenuity, bravery, determination and a sense of humor. Jaya, who works with him at the unique circulating library, is knowledgeable, clever, resourceful, and ready for any adventure that's going to help the world.
Violence & Scariness
A fire burns down a laboratory. Also, Simon, in a rage, threatens to shoot Jaya and destroy New York City if she and Leo refuse to relinquish the time machine.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
An amazed Jaya learns to like and respect Leo, who has had a crush on her since he first set eyes on her. There's one romantic kiss.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Wells Bequest is a companion to The Grimm Legacy and also features the New York City Circulating Material Repository, but it's not necessary to have read that book first. This volume has many mathematical calculations, several scientific references, and in-depth speculation and exploration surrounding H.G. Wells' time machine, as well as Nicola Tesla's supposed work on a death ray. Some sensitive readers may be disturbed by the villain's threat to destroy New York City unless he can have the time machine.
Is It Any Good?
Despite some odd people and even stranger events, THE WELLS BEQUEST is written with enough authenticity to seem thoroughly believable. This fast-paced sci-fi fantasy is filled with adventure, humor, a hint of romance, and enough tension to keep you turning page after page.
Leo and Jaya are likeable. While they are both shrinking and growing physically in pursuit of their goal, it's Leo who matures and earns respect from Jaya, his supervisor, and his family. Most important, he learns to respect himself.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.