When antimatter combines with matter, it creates an explosion of energy. That’s an accurate formula for what Jon Scieszka has created with this excellent first book in his new middle grade series.

Incorporating Isaac Asimov’s Three Rules of Robotics, Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and a bevy of scientific principles, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor presents science in a subtle but hilarious way. Kid genius Frank Einstein toils away with piles of junk, hoping to create artificial intelligence robots. Not long after, Frank, his sidekick Watson and the goofball robots Klink and Klank are working together to create an antimatter motor for the science fair. But what’s a good tween read without a villain? Soon their mission is foiled by nefarious classmate T. Edison.

Brian Biggs’ cartoon-tastic two-color illustrations add the perfect punch to the “diary” look so many young readers have come to embrace. Scieszka clearly knows his audience and plays right into their hands, as this series promises entertainment but supports it with real science. There are plenty of explosions and experiments to inspire reluctant readers to don the lab coats and start inventing!

 

This article was originally published in the August 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Also in BookPage: Scieszka and Biggs choose their favorite scenes from Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor.

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