Tag Archives: Graphic Novel

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

The Secret Science Alliance

Genius Julian is psyched to start a new school. He has a plan called “Operation Act Odinary” to finally be someone other than the smart nerd. On the first day of school he resists raising his hand and exclaims, “Only geeks like chess. I hate chess!” On the second day he can hardly stand it and eventually blurts out a complicated physics answer and immediately earns the nicknames “Einstein” and “Brainiac.” He’s the smart kid again and he’s really bummed!

What Julian doesn’t know is that there are kindred spirits in his school…and they’ve been watching him. Watching and waiting. And then they make contact by encoded message, a message only a fellow genius would figure out. Classmates Ben and Greta show up at the rendevous and induct Julian into their covert club, The Secret Science Alliance. They even have a top secret hideout full of high tech toys and gadgets and all kind of parts to invent things with.  Look inside their hideout – a smart kid dream come true!

The kids start to meet up everyday after school and on weekends to work on their projects: the stink-o-meter, nightsneak goggles and a hovercraft, just to name a few. When a rival scientist steals their book of ideas and is sure to use it for his evil plans, it takes all of their genius and gadgets to bring him to justice.  Author: Eleanor Davis Award: Booklist Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth 2010.

This book is full of colorful, busy, interesting illustrations – it’s a graphic novel so every page is illustrated. There are diagrams of inventions and cutaways so you can see inside things.

A lot of the pictures look like Rube Goldberg machines. Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist famous for drawing funny, complicated machines that do very simple things…like sharpen a pencil or put toothpaste on a toothbrush.  At Rube’s Official Website you can look at a gallery of his drawings. These drawings were inspirations for some of what you see in The Secret Science Alliance. There are lots and lots of details in each picture and the diagrams contain many steps and lots of labels. Purdue has a famous contest each year named after Rube Goldberg.  During the contest, students try to build the most complicated machine to perform a simple task. The task for the 2010 contest is…dispensing hand sanitizeer…or course!

If you like gadgets and technology, try these:
Trackers NERDS M is for Mama's Boy STORM The Infinity Code
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Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse

Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse

Amulet 2 The Stonekeeper's CurseIn Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper, Emily and Navin teamed up with some of their Great Grandpa Silas’s robots to rescue their mother who had been transported to an alternative world and was captured by a tentacled creature. The kids traveled inside a house invented by Great Grandpa Silas. The house can transform into a giant robot and move on their command. Emily wears an amulet that wields power in the alternative world. The kids recovered their mom, but she is poisoned.

In Amulet Book 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse, the family is safely back in their robotic house but their poisoned Mother has not awakened and is growing weaker. The kids point their house toward Kanalis, a mysterious and beautiful city, in hopes of finding an antidote for the poison. The kids’ mom is fighting for her life against the poison. Emily is fighting to figure out the power of the amulet she wears and how to control it. The amulet seems to be fighting to control HER.

At the same time, the family is being pursued by the Elf King’s son, Trellis, who needs to prove his abilities and loyalty by capturing them. The elves are NOT cute and have the most evil looking mouths full of shark-like teeth. What do they use those teeth for? I’m sure Emily and Navin do not want to know. In Kanalis the kids find that there is an underground resistance, an army of citizens fighting to free themselves from the elves. This group knew their Great Grandpa Silas and recognize the power of Emily’s amulet

This story is action scene upon action scene. Be sure to look at the Look Inside link to see the lush artwork – this is a graphic novel whose pictures tell the story as much as the words. Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Don’t miss Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper or Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers. or Amulet 4: The Last Council. Finally, In Robots! get some great ideas for drawing your own robotic creations.
The Stonekeeper The Cloud Searchers The Last Council Draw Your Own Robots
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Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Hector, Terrence and Dee find out their lunch lady can sling more than mystery meat. When their favorite teacher mysteriously stops showing up for class the kids take a look at their new substitute and decide there’s something just not quite right about him. When that same substitute refuses to eat the Lunch Lady’s famous French toast sticks, she decides there’s something not quite right too.

The kids follow the substitue after school. The Lunch Lady follows the substitue after school. Where does he go? Straight to a secret warehouse to meet his evil genius boss. Will his evil plan work?

Not if it’s up to this Lunch Lady who’s  got exploding chicken nuggets and fish stick nunchucks hidden in her apron pockets. With her gadget making sidekick Betty, she keeps order in her cafeteria…and in the world.

#1 Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute
#2 Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians
#3 Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta

Is the Lunch Lady ready for more? “You bet your ketchup!” And if you like these common folk superheroes here are three more to make you cheer for more:
Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians The Adventures of Captain Underpants Amelia Superheroes Horace Sprattley the Cupcaked Crusader
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Web Comic: The Secret in the Cellar

Web Comic: The Secret in the Cellar

secret-cellarThe Secret in the Cellar is a Webcomic based on an authentic forensic case of a recently discovered 17th Century body. Using graphics, photos, and online activities, the Webcomic unravels a mystery of historical, and scientific importance. Online sleuths can analyze artifacts and examine the skeleton for the tell-tale forensic clues that bring the deceased to life and establish the cause of death. The Secret in the Cellar

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Comic: Joey Fly Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime

Comic: Joey Fly Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime

Joey Fly Private EyeWhen Flick travels to the city in Bug’s Life to find help for his colony, I think he could have met Joey Fly there – maybe in the bar where he meets the circus performers! (Joey Fly would have known right off the bat though, that the circus performers were NOT tough bugs! He’s got street smarts Flick doesn’t.) In Creepy Crawly Crime Joey is visited by the beautiful butterfly Delilah. During a party, one of Delilah’s possessions disappeared and she wants Joey to find it…AND she wants to know which one of her friends took it. Joey does what detectives do, he visits the crime scene and begins interviewing possible subjects…ladybugs, mosquitoes, etc. Something’s fishy and Joey Fly will find out what it is! This one is a comic book - make sure you click on the Look Inside link to get a look at Joey Fly’s world.  Author: Aaron Reynolds

Aaron Reynolds also writes about Tiger Moth, an insect Ninja. And Joey Fly isn’t the only insect on the case, try Ace Lacewing, Spider Kane or Bug Muldoon for more insect detecting.
Tiger Moth Insect Ninja Ace Lacewing Bug Detective Spider Kane Bug Muldoon
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