When a long forgotten basement door is uncovered in the lobby of Jezebel’s apartment building she can’t keep herself from taking a look. What could be down the rickety steps in the damp, cement darkness? A boy actually. And he’s got a message for Jezebel.
“I don’t have much time. But you’ve got to be warned. Keep safe and trust your instincts. Be careful. Be smart. Be afraid. The Dead Gentleman’s coming.” (page 26)
Then he disappears. Like, poof! Gone. Be afraid. Check! The rest? Not so much!
The fact is The Dead Gentleman IS coming. He’s coming to earth to raise up an army of the walking dead. The basement of Jezebel’s hotel is a portal to another planet, the planet where The Dead Gentleman has his starship anchored, preparing to invade earth. Tommy and Jezebel are the earth’s last hope.This is one careening adventure full of mechanical wonders and two smart kids who figure out what it takes to stop The Dead Gentleman and his zombie army. Loved it. Author: Matthew Cody
If you like Tommy and Jezebel try these books that also pair smart kids with interesting mechanical inventions to take on the bad guys. These books are called “steampunk” – that means a story that involves technology or machines before that technology was actually invented. A lot of times the inventions are complicated robots that work with elaborate sets of gears or clockworks.
It’s just a normal day for Zita and Joseph, until they come upon a crashed meteor. Zita decides to investigate, discovering a strange button. She presses it, and Joseph is pulled through a portal. At first frightened, Zita becomes determined to save her friend. She presses the button again, finding herself pulled onto an amazing planet, full of alien creatures and alien ways. In her quest, she meets many interesting new friends. This is a wonderful story about friendship. Beautifully drawn, this is hopefully the first of many adventures for the feisty, smart, and resourceful Zita the Spacegirl.
If you like Zita here are some more space adventures full of action and friendship. Missile Mouse is impulsive and takes action, just like Zita. Wondla has a lot of space action too but will make you laugh and cry both. If you like Zita’s robots try Amulet: The Stonekeepr, very cool tranformer-like robots. Smekday is especially funny with a sassy main character who takes on the aliens without flinching a bit.
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. Make sure you look at some preview pages.
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!
Otto and his friends Wing, Laura, & Shelby are still at H.I.V.E., the Higher Institute of Villainous Education learning how to become the world’s top supervillains. They have mad skills in computer hacking, martial arts and stealth.
This time, a rogue group of villains have decided to takeover G.L.O.V.E. (Global League Of Villainous Enterprises) and start their own sinister group. To do that, they have to bring down G.L.O.V.E. leader, Diabolus Darkdoom. To get to him they do what bad guys always do, they kidnap someone Diabolus cares about to make him cooperate. That person is Nigel Darkdoom, Diabolus Darkdoom’s son who is a student at H.I.V.E. and one of Otto, Wing, Laura and Shelby’s friends.
When headmaster Nero and Raven’s plans start to fall apart it is up to the kids to formulate their own, highly dangerous and very unauthorized rescue operation to save their friend. If the bad guys are fighting and you are fighting the worst bad guy…doesn’t that make you a good guy? I think so! Author: Mark Walden
Eva Nine has lived inside an underground bunker her entire life with only her Muthr (Multi-Utility Task Help Robot zero-six) for company. Muthr has been programmed to take care of Eva Nine. If you have a lot of brothers and sisters at home maybe this sounds pretty good – a robot to see to your every need and provide constant entertainment. But Eva Nine is lonely. And bored. And she wants to go OUTSIDE. She wants to know most of all, “is there anybody out there somewhere, like me?”
When the bunker is attacked by an alien Eva Nine gets exactly what she wants. She’s outside and she’s not at all alone, although now she kind of wants to be! Outside the bunker live fantastic over-sized creatures - some want to be her friend, but some want to eat her. Eva Nine does the only thing she can think of, she sets out toward the only other place she has ever heard about that might have humans in it. A Star Wars – like adventure with a likable hero who has funny, loyal robots and aliens for friends. Author: Tony DiTerlizzi Tony co-wrote The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black. Wondla is full of his great illustrations and if you have a webcam…the book includes directions for using it to enhance those illustrations. (See second video below.)