Julian is sick of being a loser, tired of getting bullied, fed up with rejection. So when his parents announce that they’re moving to a new town, he decides that the time is right for a makeover: from nerd to normal. Unfortunately, it’s hard to hide who you really are inside, but fortunately for Julian, there are two people at his school who like him for his nerdness. Together the three of them form…The Secret Science Alliance!

I was thrilled when a copy of Davis’ new full-length graphic novel appeared in my mailbox. I loved Davis’ work on Stinky (Toon Books) and was excited to see what she’d do with a longer format. I was even more excited after reading the first adventure of the Secret Science Alliance and discovering that Davis’ talent can’t be hidden any more than Julian’s nerd qualities can.

Davis starts off with three characters who are rather archetypal: the nerd (Julian), the wisecracking genius (Greta), and the popular jock (Ben). Ordinarily I would want characters who were a little less stereotypical, but Davis makes them perfect stand-ins for kids that her readers will see in their school. She also gives them depth–Greta has lost her mother, Ben cannot see his own intelligence, and Julian, who seems the least pulled together, turns out to be the most stable and also a terrific prankster. Their smarts complement each other and even though the ideas that they come up with are far-fetched for middle school students, readers will still find a lot of enjoyment in their Saturday-morning-cartoon creations.

There is a lot going on in this volume….

This review was originally posted at Good Comics for Kids. Please visit the original post to see the rest of the review.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook
Eleanor Davis
ISBN 978-1-59990-142-8(hc), 978-1-5990-396-5(pb)
Bloomsbury, September 2009

  • Snow

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support!

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