Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor
Author: Jon Sciezska
Illustrator: Brian Biggs
Published August 19, 2014 by Amulet Books
Goodreads Summary: Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and definitely unusual. After an uneventful experiment in his garage-lab, a lightning storm and flash of electricity bring Frank’s inventions—the robots Klink and Klank—to life! Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wisecracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank nonetheless help Frank attempt to perfect his Antimatter Motor . . . until Frank’s archnemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan! Using real science, Jon Scieszka has created a unique world of adventure and science fiction—an irresistible chemical reaction for middle-grade readers.
My Review: In the world of illustrated novels, we have many a class clown: Greg, Nate, George & Harold. But now we have our very own genius, and he is a genius that kids are going to love! This book combines the humor and fun plot that Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Captain Underpants have, but adds in science (though the kids reading it will be none the wiser). The way that Sciezska combines humor, adventure, twists & turns, and science is perfection that will have a whole slew of readers waiting for the next Frank Einstein book.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book has so much that a teacher could touch on while reading it. It would be a perfect book for a read aloud in reading with cross-curricular activities based on the book in science. I was very lucky to once again be able to write a teaching guide, this time for Frank Einstein. To see more specific class activities and discussion questions, view my teaching guide at the Abrams website. (I also wrote the teaching guide for Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger!)
Discussion Questions: Frank has a double helix DNA slide. What would this look like?; Grandpa Al uses the phrase “Blow this pop stand” (p. 112). This is an idiom meaning “Let’s get out of here.”
What are idioms? What are some idioms you use in your daily life?; Frank’s parents are in Antarctica, where the ozone is getting a hole in it (p. 110). What is causing this hole? Frank mentions CFCs. What are they? How do they affect the ozone?; In Fig 1.1, Frank shows us that every second between light and sound equals 1/5 of a mile, because of the difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound. So, if there are 5 seconds between thunder and lightning, that means the storm is 1 mile away. What if there are 10 seconds between? 15 seconds? 12 seconds? 100 seconds?; On page 109, we learn that corn flakes were an accidental invention. Are there other accidental inventions?
We Flagged: “Night. Darkness. Flash! A bright bolt of lightning splits the dark and flickers over the skylight. Frank Einstein looks up from his work. He counts out loud, “One thousand one. One thousand two. One thousand three. One thousand four. One thousand five–” Craack boom! The sound-wave vibration of the thunder rattles the old iron-framed windows of Frank’s workshop and science laboratory. “Five seconds between light and sound for every mile. . . One mile away,” Frank calculates, using the difference between the almost-instant speed of light and the much slower speed of sound. “Right on time.”
Read This If You Loved: Series: Frankie Pickle by Eric Wight, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
**Thank you to Abrams Books for providing a copy for review**