The latest book from James Patterson’s new children’s publishing imprint, Jimmy Patterson, Sci-Fi Junior High (released Feb 21st) is a fun book for middle schoolers about what happens when your family moves home and you have to start attending a new junior high school, that just happens to be in outer space. Jimmy Patterson books sent my son, Fin, and I a copy to check it out for ourselves.
Sci-Fi Junior High, by John Martin and Scott Seegert is about Kelvin Klosmo, the new kid at Sciriustrati Fibronoculareus Junior High School, or as most people call it, Sci-Fi Junior High. Kelvin’s parents just happen to be the two smartest scientists on planet Earth, a robot specialist and a neuroscientist, which is how they ended up being asked to move out to the Galactic Science Hub – a melting pot for scientific research at the far end of the galaxy that is populated by the two smartest people from every known planet, and their families. As the son of two super geniuses, Kelvin is the smartest kid in the entire universe, or at least that’s what everyone else thinks. Kelvin himself is a little worried that his “Mighty Mega Supergeniusness” doesn’t seem to have kicked in yet.
Traveling with them from Earth is Dr. Erik Failenheimer, the third smartest person on Earth. Unfortunately, the Galactic Science Hub only has research posts for the top two smartest people, and so, unbeknownst to him, Failenheimer has traveled 329,000,000,000,000,000 miles to take up the post of… janitor. Angered by this perceived snub to his intellect, Failenheimer vows to become an evil genius instead and intends to kickstart his new career by stealing the giant robot the Klosmos are working on. As is always the way, it’s up to the kids to save the day.
We read Sci-Fi Junior High at bedtime over several nights, which may not be the best way to enjoy the book. Written in the first person, the story jumps between perspectives and mixes comic style illustrations, conversations using images to show who’s speaking, and full prose. It also often uses different fonts to indicate who is speaking, which makes it tricky to read aloud – Fin told me that when he couldn’t see the page it was difficult to follow who was speaking. That being said, the paragraphs from Failenheimer’s perspective were a lot of fun to read aloud, full of villainous monologues and evil laughs that Doctor Horrible (and his vocal coach) would be proud of.
When we finished the book, Fin told me he particularly enjoyed the food fight scene in the school cafeteria and really liked the giant robot built by the Klosmo parents. He found the characters engaging, particularly the Klosmo family (minus irritating little sister Bula) and found Failenheimer’s favored exclamation – zarfloots! – hilarious. The book succeeded in keeping his attention for the week or so it took us to read it at bedtime, an impressive feat with a kid who struggles to focus on longer stories and usually chooses to avoid chapter books for that reason. If you have kids who enjoy stories about robots, aliens, science, and evil bunnies, then we’re sure they will enjoy this one!
Want to win your very own copy of Sci-Fi Junior High plus a kids telescope so they can explore the galaxy themselves? Jimmy Patterson have teamed up with GeekMom to give away a prize pack.
To enter the giveaway, fill in the form below. This giveaway is only open to US addresses and the contest closes on Sunday 26th February at 11.59pm PT. The winner will be announced the following week. Good luck!
This contest has now closed.
The winner, selected at random from all eligible entries, was Chris Carpenter.