by Edward Kay
Doubleday Canada (Random House)
Suggested Ages: 8 - 12
Buy From Indigo
Description: Nothing at the Superior Thinking and Advanced Research Academy is as it seems — and Amanda Forsythe, its newest, brightest student, is about to discover why. Amanda Forsythe, an independent-minded eleven-year-old with a stratospheric intellect, enters her school’s science fair with a project on interstellar travel. Despite its brilliance, the project loses and Amanda is humiliated — that is, until she is approached by two scientists from the STAR Academy. The Academy is an elite boarding school with a simple but ambitious mandate: to cultivate the greatest scientists of tomorrow. They offer Amanda a full scholarship.After taking up residence at the remote, fortress-like Academy, Amanda settles into an exciting life of new friends and supportive teachers, and though everything seems too good to be true, Amanda makes a disturbing discovery. Against almost impossible odds, Amanda must find a way to escape the school and alert the world to what is really going on behinds its walls.
The Good Stuff
- Wonderful adventure series written by a Canadian author for the 8 -12 yr old reader
- Absolutely hilarious at time, some of the humour is subtle so adult readers will enjoy as well
- Perfect for those kids who are just a little bit different
- Story has plenty of adventure and is filled with dumb parents and inept educators, so will very much appeal to the middle school reader
- Enjoyable for both boy and girl readers
- Unusual storyline with good plot twists
- Nice moral lessons done in a non obvious shmaltzy way -- kids won't even notice
- Kids get to save the day without the help of bumbling adults
- Main characters are realistic in their emotions and relationships with each other
- End of story grabs your attention and makes you look forward to the next installment in the series
- Imaginative experiments & inventions straight out of star trek - good geeky fun
- Some of the humour is a little too subtle for the average middle school reader
- story lulls a little and it might turn off some of the more reluctant readers
"He turned and winked at the audience. Taking their cue from him, the assembled students chuckled at Amanda. Many of the parents did too, in what they thought was an "isn't she cute?" sort of way, which Amanda found even more irritating, because it was so condescending yet so utterly ignorant."
"The majestic night sky over Downview was almost completely blotted out, thanks to conspicuous power wastage by people who thought it vitally important that billboards, deserted office buildings and bank tower logos be brightly illuminated at all hours, lest anyone on their way to work at two o' clock in the morning forget the brand of chewing gum they chew, or the name of the bank to which they owe their next fifteen years' salary."
"Our own government was going to drop a nuclear bomb on us?" asked Amanda incredulously.
"Now Jack," said Amanda's mother, "don't go getting her worked up. They didn't say it would necessarily be a nuclear bomb."
Who should/shouldn't read
- Perfect for the more nerdy middle school reader
- Reluctant readers may struggle with this one
I received this from Doubleday Canada (Random House) in exchange for an honest review - thanks guys, really enjoyed it and my 10 yr old started reading it today