Oscar and the Amazing Gravity Repellent, by Tina Peterson (2015)

Fantasy
Ages 7-11
Oscar and the Amazing Gravity RepellentOne of the first “science fiction” books I read as a child was Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint. Written before the age of space travel, the story let young readers’ imaginations fly along with Danny and his friend Joe as they career around the solar system. With that memory in mind, I was pleased to learn of this title from first-time author Peterson, which promises an equal dose of magical adventure. Oscar is a klutz. When he learns about gravity at school, he realizes it’s the cause of his clumsiness, always pulling him downward and causing him to trip, stumble, and knock things over. When he discovers an abandoned caboose covered in vines, he is astonished to see, in a locked glass cabinet, a bottle of Gravity Repellent. Unable to open the door, he returns with his best friend Asha, also in Grade 3, but somehow capable at picking locks. They get their hands on the mysterious liquid and the adventures begin, from floating stones to riding the ceiling fan to a misadventure that leads to a broken leg. But when bullies threaten to destroy the caboose, Oscar takes action that he soon regrets. This is an action-filled chapter book that will appeal to those interested in science and magic. Reluctant readers will be swept along, though a rather heavy-handed dose of morality dampens some of the excitement. I wanted a little more magic with the anti-gravity liquid – perhaps using the solution on a cast-iron frypan, or a bicycle. E.T., anyone? The story also ends most abruptly – a move which will likely leave young fans eagerly anticipating a sequel. Overall it is a fun read, appropriate for confident readers, but also ideal as a read-aloud. At 200 pages it may be daunting to newly independent readers. My thanks to NetGalley for an advance e-copy in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25769963
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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