Frank Einstein loves science. So does his grandfather, Grampa Al. The science bug skipped a generation, however, since Frank’s parents love to travel and are clueless about science. When Frank teams up with a couple of self-assembled artificially intelligent SmartBots, Klink and Klank, he’s on his way to win the science fair with a motor powered by the combination of matter and anti-matter. But Frank’s competition, T. Edison, along with Edison’s Chief Financial officer, Mr. Chimp, are out to win the science fair, too—-any way they can!
“Frank loves science” becomes a convenient excuse for inserting all sorts of science factoids into the story, but it’s a painless interposition with lots of cool science charts and illustrations. Kids who “love science” along with Frank, about third or fourth graders, should also enjoy Frank Einstein’s adventures. And those who aren’t so fond of science might develop a taste for it, which I assume is at least part of the goal.
Brandy of Random Musings of a Bibliophile noted in her review of another 2014 middle grade sci-fi book (Tesla’s Attic), “This is one in a long line of books that have released lately in which Tesla and his inventions play a major role. As does the vilifying of Thomas Edison.” No Tesla in Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, but T. Edison is the villain. So why is everybody suddenly down on Edison?
Aside from a few slightly abrupt transitions, this first book in the Frank Einstein series is an action-packed solid read for younger middle grade readers. And Mr. Scieszcka has his characters allude to both Asimov’s I, Robot and to the Captain Underpants series. So something for everyone, including some very bad jokes, courtesy of Klank.
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This book is also nominated for a Cybil Award, but the views expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect or determine the judging panel’s opinions.