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Simon Bloom, the Gravity Keeper Paperback – May 14, 2009

32 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Simon Bloom Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Occasionally breaking into the story with a first-person comment, this book’s omniscient narrator tells the story of 11-year-old Simon Bloom, who one day discovers a mysterious, hidden forest in the middle of his New Jersey town. Followed by timid Owen, Simon enters the clearing where a secret, powerful group, the Order of Physics, has just met and disbanded. The adventure begins when a large book pops out of nowhere and decks Simon. Entitled Teachers’ Edition of Physics, the book is filled with scientific formulas that Owen figures out how to use, much like magic spells. His increasing skills—he learns how to control gravity and friction—draw the attention of smart, popular Alysha, who joins Simon and Owen in marveling over the book’s secrets. Together, they must fight against a mysterious woman whose body is tattooed with scientific formulas and who is trying to take over the world. This is great, escapist fare for those smart middle-grade readers who are fascinated by science, magic, and adventure. Grades 4-7. --Diana Tixier Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The action is fast-paced; there is lots of slapstick humor...[a] swift and funny read. -- Kirkus Reviews

With its mixture of humor, fast-paced action, and science fiction, this book will certainly appeal to many readers. -- School Library Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0690 (What's this?)
  • Series: Simon Bloom
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (May 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142413682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142413685
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Reisman was born and raised in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, where he spent a lot of time day-dreaming in nearby woods. He can juggle and can use chopsticks with either hand, but he cannot control the universe (not for lack of trying). He's got a black belt in napping; he loves pizza, chocolate and NY egg rolls; and he enjoys writing about himself in the 3rd person.

His many jobs have included making smoothies, cashiering at a supermarket, washing tents, tutoring for the SATs, and spraying cologne (for one night-he got fired). He's also worked in the movie/ TV industry for Fox, Paramount, Tom Hanks, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network, and he's currently a script/ book reader for Dreamworks Animation. After all that, he's happiest sitting in cafés and thinking up strange stories.

Michael currently lives in Los Angeles and doesn't have a dog. Yet. But he has several fish who have refused to comment. He's pleased to finally release the third book in his Simon Bloom series, THE ORDER OF CHAOS, and he hopes you'll be pleased, too. You can read more about him at (especially when he gets around to updating the site)(should be any day now)(seriously).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What would you do if you could control the laws of Physics?

Simon Bloom is an average eleven-year-old boy that dreams of being able to fly and instantaneously travel to the moon. But as a 6th-grader, he doesn't know anything about the laws of Physics. Nor has he ever noticed the woods at the end of Van Silas Way. And not just any woods. These woods have trees as big as the Redwoods, yet no one seems to notice them. Then one fateful day, with his new friend, Owen, the Breeze (yes, with a capital B) beckons Simon to the dead end Van Silas Way. Out of nowhere, Dunkerhoook Woods appears before the two of them. They venture into the magically charged woods and discover a clearing with wood stumps arranged in a circle. While exploring the clearing, a Book (again, with a capital B) falls, seemingly out of nowhere.

Enter the TEACHER'S EDITION OF PHYSICS. The Book belongs to the Keeper of the Order of Physics. Why has it fallen out of nowhere into Simon Bloom's hands? And what is Simon to do with it? Well, as any curious sixth grader would do, he opens it. And thus begins the adventures.

The previous owner of the Book has been injured in a mysterious car accident and the Order of Physics members are out to find the perpetrator of the crime and the missing Book. And a mysterious hooded person and their assistant are trying to find the Book for their own personal use.

Simon and his friends must figure out how to use the Book to protect themselves from those that mean to harm them just to get their hands on the Book.

The story starts out a bit confusing with all of the different characters and names of organizations. But once the plot begins to move along, it all comes together and is quite entertaining to the reader.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Parikh on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Simon Bloom the Gravity Keeper is an fast paced and incredibly creative book. I read it cover to cover in a day and can't wait for a sequel. What is most amazing is how the author takes basic science and turns it into great entertainment. It's science that is real and seems accurate (gravity, friction). For parents who want to both entertain their children (and themselves) and who want to incite curiosity in their kids, you can't go wrong with this book.

After Harry Potter, I've grown a little tired of fantasy imitators (golden compass, etc). This book takes place in our day, in our time, and uses principles of real science to make it all go. I think it's a great addition to the young adult literature,
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Y. Brennan on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A couple of my mom friends were talking about how much their kids loved Simon Bloom. I'm always looking something new for my kids to read and this book is fantastic. The chapters are nice and short and the characters are very compelling--imagine getting to be a real superhero! The names are a little goofy and appeal to a kids' sense of humor. My son couldn't put it down and now I'm reading it. This is a great gift for kids who love to get lost in a story. You could also make it a bedtime book---it is sure to make for some very creative dreams! Will there be a sequel?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on August 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Caveat: I am automatically swayed (in a good way) by any author who mentions THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY in the acknowledgments and then gives it a cameo. It's often that a new book with science fiction elements and a great deal of humor gets compared to the Douglas Adams classic. It's rare when the new book deserves the comparison. With SIMON BLOOM, THE GRAVITY KEEPER, Michael Reisman's debut novel, it's most accurate to say that the spirit of Adams's wry humor is alive and well, and the influence propels Reisman's work into its own niche rather than binds it to the category of "just another Adams rip-off."

SIMON BLOOM, THE GRAVITY KEEPER is powered by an all-seeing Narrator who reports and comments for a Chronicle of events on behalf of a mysterious organization known only as the Union. This Union, we learn, possesses a series of Books that holds the secrets to manipulating the universe. The Union itself is split into various Orders that are responsible for overseeing the workings of Physics, Biology and other functions thought to be the machinations of nature.

From his hidden position, the Narrator introduces us to 11-year-old Simon Bloom, who, along with some friends, is lured into a mystic woods by a mischievous Breeze. It's there that Simon finds (well, he's hit on the head by) a teacher's edition of one of the Order's physics books. As he experiments with the book's formulae, he finds that the information within allows him to control gravity. But, of course, with this sort of power comes responsibilities that Simon can't even begin to imagine. Worse, the physics book Simon possesses is being sought by a traitor within the Union who has nefarious plans for the book's usage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Madigan McGillicuddy on April 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Simon Bloom's life is turned upside-down when he discovers the "Teacher's Edition" of his classroom physics textbook, which magically gives him power over the laws of physics. He manipulates gravity and friction, allowing him to float, fly, zoom or slow down. After accidentally eavesdropping on a group of excessively silly senior wizards sporting wacky psuedo-medieval names, he finds himself unavoidably caught up in the action.

The evil Sirabetta is able to control several different branches of science (magically) with various tattoos that seem to writhe all over her body. Of course, she is hoping to add the book of physics to her collection. Simon's two best friends, Owen and Alysha join him in trying to keep the magic book out of the hands of villains.

Owen has a rather annoying habit of speaking-so-quickly-that-all-of-his-sentences-are-rendered-in-dashes, and Alysha is a bit of an outsider at school who joins them in their expeditions to Dunkerhook Woods. Only towards the very last third of the book do Owen and Alysha start to come in to their own, gaining the power of velocity and electricity, respectively. In a way, I was disappointed to see Owen and Alysha lose their powers so quickly.

Plenty of inside-jokes seemed geared towards Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans, which might go over the heads of the intended audience of 9 to 12-year-old boys. In many ways, Gravity Keeper reminded me of the Angie Sage's Septimus Heap books, but with a more scientific bent. An omniscient narrator, similar to one in The Series of Unfortunate Events provides comic relief. Fast-paced, inventive and fun, I'd recommend this new series to any budding science-fiction fan.
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