Sci-Fi Junior High

illus. by John Martin. 320p. ebook available. Little, Brown/Jimmy Patterson. Feb. 2017. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780316315166.
Gr 4–6—Kelvin Klosmo is the son of two of the smartest scientists in the universe. His father, a famed robotics professor, and his mother, a renowned neuroscientist, are brought to the Galactic Space Hub to work on a top-secret project. Still adjusting to his new life aboard the Space Hub, Kelvin is transferred to Sciriustrati Fibronoculareus Junior High School. On his first day, Kelvin is immediately singled out: with great parents come great expectations, and everyone at school thinks Kelvin is a supergenius, too. The only problem is that Kelvin's brainiac powers haven't quite kicked in—a conflict that is overly emphasized. The point of view of Professor Erik M. Failenheimer, a villain whose goal is to bring down the Klosmo family, is interwoven with Kelvin's narrative. The illustrations flesh out secondary characters and will engage reluctant readers. At times, Kelvin's voice lacks authenticity and doesn't ring true to how kids speak. Jeffrey Brown's hilarious "Star Wars: Jedi Academy" series is a better example of sci-fi with "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"—style illustrations.
VERDICT Fun, creative graphics carry a lackluster story. Consider purchasing for libraries with large budgets.

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