The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black: The Young Inventors' Guild
- Middle Reader-Careful Content
- Heart/Home/Friends Forever
- Joan of Arc/Empath
- Character Building Curriculum
- being different
- group project
- helping others
- how things work
- If You Liked Encyclopedia Brown
- If You Liked Indiana Jones
- If You Liked Nick of Time
- If You Liked The Westing Game
- making a difference
- mature readers
- older readers
- part of a series
- school story
- understanding others
Five brilliant children whose parents are talented scientists – why have they been brought to a farm in Ohio in 1903 from their homes all over the world by mysterious men in black costumes of all sorts? And what about their new weekend homes in the city nearby, with wonderful nannies and bedrooms for their parents who never arrive?
Having school with Miss Brett at the farm is much nicer than being bullied at their school in London, think Jasper and Lucy, but where are their parents? Faye misses working in her parents’ laboratory in India, where she was treated like a princess. Noah can’t play his violin right now, worrying that his mother doesn’t know where he is (she left to star in another opera just before…).And Wallace, well, his late mother said he’d make a discovery before his 10th birthday that would save the world – and he has just a few days to finish the project.
The youngsters teach Miss Brett about their advanced experiments, and she introduces them to the wonderful world of stories and rhymes and children’s games that their tutors and scientific encyclopedias never covered. During the week, they discover farm animals’ habits and hopscotch and how to bake biscuits, then are taken “home” to their nannies by roundabout routes in black carriages or autocars by men in odd black outfits every weekend. Whether at the farm or in town, patrols of men in black circle around their residences like clockwork, week after week.
The children investigate a pageless journal Lucy found in her mother’s room and discover that it once contained pages written by the Young Inventors’ Guild. They decide to use it to chronicle their experiments as they pool their knowledge of scientific principles to escape the mysterious men in black and rescue their parents!
Are their parents safe? Why don’t they write or even use that newfangled telephone device in the farmhouse closet? Can the birdwatcher seen near the farm help them? What about Faye’s cousin or those clever brothers they met in town?
Mystery, science, and the song of The Strange Round Bird (which they all learned as tiny children) meld in this exciting first volume of The Young Inventors’ Guild series. 354 pages
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA