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The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black (The Young Inventors Guild) Hardcover – March 15, 2011


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Featured New Release in Teen Science Fiction & Fantasy

Product Details

  • Series: The Young Inventors Guild
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bancroft Press (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610880021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610880022
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,594,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Simply brilliant. --P.B.Kerr, author of the Children of the Lamp series and other Young Adult bestsellers

I love this book and if a movie is made of it, it will be awesome, too. I love it because it seems so real. It's the perfect book for a summer holiday. I'm sure everyone who buys this book will laugh and enjoy it as much as I did. If I was rating this book, I'd give it the highest rank you could. --Hamish Newall, Age 9, Great Britain

Eden Unger Bowditch s The Atomic Weight of Secrets truly captures the voices of young people. It presents the characters as children, yet, through their shared experiences and, in some ways, because they must raise themselves, they mature beyond the years of normal children of that age. A nice balance was struck between these two. My favorite character was Faye. I guess it's because I am the father of two daughters, so I could identify with her best. Plus, the initial part of the book, when she was separated from her parents, was very powerful. The fear and the confusion the author captured here was overwhelming to me. That part of the book struck an emotive chord partly because I was identifying Faye s fear with that of my own girls if they were in a similar situation. It was frightening, quite frankly. The Atomic Weight of Secrets is a very special creation. It and the rest of the series will undoubtedly capture audiences of readers both young and old. An imaginative plot full of intrigue and mystery, characters that Middle School kids can relate to, plus the science and invention elements, will appeal to a whole subset of young readers. --Andrew Ferguson, Middle School Assistant Principal, Cairo American College

About the Author

Eden Unger Bowditch has been writing since she was very small. She has been writing since she could use her brain to think of something to say. She wrote while attaining her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and she wrote songs as lead singer of the band Enormous.

She has written stories and plays and shopping lists and screenplays and dreams and poems and also books about her longtime Baltimore home, like Growing Up in Baltimore and Druid Hill Park: The Historic Heart of Baltimore. She has been a journalist, as well as a welder, and an editor, and other things, too.

The Atomic Weight of Secrets is her first young adult novel, and she has been as excited writing it as she hopes you are reading it.

Presently, Eden lives with her family (husband and three children) in Cairo, Egypt. But that s another story entirely . . .


More About the Author

Eden Unger Bowditch has been writing since she was very small. She has been writing since she could use her brain to think of something to say. She wrote at the University of California, Berkeley, and she wrote songs as a member of the band 'enormous'.

She has written stories and plays and shopping lists and screenplays and dreams and poems--and also books about her longtime Baltimore home. She has lived in Chicago and France and other places on the planet, and has been a journalist, as well as a welder, and an editor, and other things, too.

The Atomic Weight of Secrets is the first installment of The Young Inventors Guild trilogy. The Ravens of Solemano is the second.

Presently, Eden lives with her family (husband and three children) in Cairo, Egypt. But that's another story entirely . . .


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I found this book to be very interesting.
Lisa F.
Any book that can make you so nervous for the characters in such a way is a testament to the excellent storytelling spun by the author in my opinion.
bellybutts
I absolutely loved this book and look forward to the next installment in the series to see where the children go next.
Wendy L. Hines

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nathalie on November 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I think the plot was very creative, she really had me in the beginning and I was really curious to learn more about this world and the Men in Black (very cute).

However, I really had a hard time reading this story. I'm almost to the end and i still don't fully understand what is going on. It seems like I'm reading a script, and I wonder if the author has a screenplay background, because it seems like I'm waiting for a big final (long slow buildup then cool ending), I hope it's there but I'm not sticking around to find out. Someone before stated that you just stop caring about the children, and you really do. The author keeps the book too mysterious, so much that the momentum of the story suffers, and by the time they try to escape it's just not interesting anymore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tessa-ftbotbblog on April 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quite a lot to take in, but well worth it! Eden Unger Bowditch's first young adult novel does not disappoint! The story definitely provides a maze of possibilities that can lead to dead ends or the ultimate truth. The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black is a very enjoyable novel and a fun one to read. I suggest this book for kids and teens alike.

I was constantly led on a trail of false leads and accusations that kept me on my toes. I never knew what to expect from Lucy, Jasper, Faye, Noah, Wallace, or the men in the black. I love how I was constantly entertained by what might lay ahead and the endless directions in which the story could go. This open-endedness allowed me to explore my imagination and keep an open mind about characters or events that occurred in the story. This also added to the aspect of secrecy and elusiveness that the men in black portrayed. I can't wait to learn more in the sequel to The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black!

The characters are all so easy to relate to, especially the kids. I applaud Eden Unger Bowditch for doing such a splendid job developing and shaping them. It was nice to see that each child had a story of their own. I really felt more for them when they were taken away from their beloved parents or when they thought back on how life used to be because of this. Each one of them really is brilliant too. Lucy with her perfect memory, Jasper with his steady head, Faye with her bold ideas and determination, the musically acclaimed Noah with his wry sense of humor, and the ever-present Wallace who is always there to lend a hand. These characters I hold dear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wendy L. Hines VINE VOICE on April 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've always been fascinated with science and inventions. I've always said, when I see a new nifty product, why didn't I think of that? I'm still waiting though for someone to invent the backspace button on landline telephones.....it sure would make my flying fingers happy!

Five children from different places in the world are all the children of famous inventors. Jasper and Lucy have a good home life but they really don't have any friends. Everyone at school makes fun of them, including their teachers. They can't help it they are so smart. Noah travels constantly. Not because his father is a great inventor but because his mother is a famed opera singer. Faye is a daughter of a wealthy scientist and Wallace his a really intelligent chemist, but very lonely since his mother died and his dad is always working.

The children are all shocked when the men in black come and take them away. Their parents tell them to basically be good and to stay invisible, out of the radar. But the men in black won't tell them where their parents are.

Then, the children are taking to a remote farm to be schooled. The all fall in love with Miss Brett, the schoolteacher, who teaches the children things they didn't know. Things such as cooking and fun childrens books. She pays them all attention and they love her for it. But after weeks go by with still no word from their parents, the kids decide that they must have been kidnapped and they must rescue them.

But another strange person arrives at the schoolhouse and he is not as nice as Miss Brett. He means to find the "Thing" and he will remove anything in his path to get it, including the children.

The Atomic Weight of Secrets is a marvelous adventure for young teenagers or even adults.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Slackman on March 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a great novel, tantalizing to the last page. The best endorsement of Atomic Weight came from my 12 year old son. I put it down. He picked it up to thumb the pages and was quickly hooked. It's a captivating story, well told, and fun to read. But what is rare, especially in a book written for young people, is the depth of the characters, the way the writer so skillfully brings them to life. I felt like I knew them so well. The only complaint I have, is after having read the book, I missed them all. Good thing it's the first in a series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1903, the Mysterious Men in Black take five highly intelligent children, offspring of the world's leading scientists, to Sole Manner Farm in Dayton, Ohio. Their parents have been taken also to a separate locale. Twelve year old Jasper and his six year old sister Lucy come from London; nine year old African-American Wallace is taken in New York; twelve year old Noah arrives from Toronto; and thirteen year old Faye is from India. Their schoolteacher Miss Brett provides her five wards with nurturing, but admits she does not know why they were abducted.

At the farm each is frightened while also feeling abandoned by their parents though logically they tell one another their parents were abducted too, which in turn embellishes their fears. They share hypothesis as to who the Mysterious Men in Black are and why they guard them in an outdoor prison; as they protect them but from what as their jailers could have killed them if that was their mission. The five children also wonder and fear what happened to their parents.

With a nod to Patrick Mcgoohan's 1960s TV show The Prisoner, readers of all ages, though middle school children are the targeted audience, will appreciate this suspense thriller. The children make the tale work as each has their own skills and flaws, which in conjunction with the others; make them real and their traumatic predicament seem plausible. Although the descriptors of the Mysterious Men in Black is the only dumbing down element as the young adult readers will get the first time, fans will feel they are in Ohio wondering what The Atomic Weight of Secrets is.

Harriet Klausner
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