Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger by Jon Scieszka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this second installment of the Frank Einstein series, Frank and his best friend, Watson (and the robots) are curious about energy. From Frank's idea for an "electro-finger" invention to Grandpa's desire to find an alternative source of energy to power his house, we as the reader are introduced to many concepts about energy. Forces and motion, nonrenewable and renewable energy. Sounds like science class, right? Well Scieszka has found a way through this story to present science in a fun way. Hey, the reader may not even realize he's learning about science here.
Frank, Watson, Klink and Klank face off against ultra-rich kid T. Edison and his chimp. Edison has bought all the power sources for the city and is destroying them all, except for one -- the hydroelectric dam -- in hopes of raising the cost of electricity for the town (and his profits). When Frank discovers this evil plan, he goes all-in to find a way to ruin Edison's plans.
I wonder how many humorous references kids will get. Sure, they'll get Frank Einstein (Frankenstein), but will they get the scene where the townspeople come after him with torches and pitchforks because they are afraid of his monsters? Will any see the humor in having Frank's invention be based on an idea by Tesla, and having his square off against T. Edison and more traditional power resources? If not, it sure keeps a smile on the adults faces as they read over their kids' shoulders.
I plan on purchasing this for my middle school library. Yes, I know that MS is a bit above the intended interest level for the book, but I think it'll be a hit. It has action & adventure, it's graphic-intensive, and has a super-hero vibe. I just won't mention the science part too loudly.
(I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)