THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS by Jacqueline Houtman

THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A middle grader with a high-function spectrum disorder finds some real friends in this wry debut. Eddie may be a genius when it comes to scientific knowledge and to repurposing broken appliances, but the best he can do socially is to treat others as distractions with inscrutable motives. Falling in with proudly geeky classmate Justin and Justin’s maverick friend Terry (whom Eddie thinks is a boy until Justin sets him straight) leads to several breakthroughs, as both see through his habitual brusqueness and are willing to clue him in on the nuances of social cues. The author has a particularly engaging way of tracking Eddie’s thought processes as he struggles to wrest order from a seemingly chaotic world, constructs through trial and error an ingenious homemade device for controlling traffic at a dangerous intersection and interacts sans real comprehension with peers and others. By the end readers will understand why Justin and Terry find Eddie worth knowing, but the way the central characters talk and think about science creates another theme that’s just as strong and satisfying. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59078-708-3
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2010