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Rating: 3/5 Stars
Release Date: 3/15/2010
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About the Book: Eddy knows a lot about science and can spend hours building and inventing. When the local school crossing guard's job is cut, Eddy worries that the intersection will be too dangerous and comes up with an invention to make it safer for the students. His inventions also help him meet new students and discover what it is to be a friend and stand up for himself against school bullies.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Although it's never mentioned in the book, I would guess that Eddy would be a student who is somewhere along the autism spectrum. He has difficulties deciphering social clues, he doesn't like loud noises or crowds, and he is very smart when it comes to science and know lots of random facts in various scientific subjects. I thought Ms. Houtman did a great job making the reader understand what it was like for Eddy-why he didn't like crowds, how some things were more difficult to process.
There is a lot of scientific information as well and there were parts of it I found distracting. Eddy mentions the Latin names of animals, food, etc. and it was somewhat jarring at first. There's also little breaks in the story that include various scientific facts that were somewhat related to the happenings in the book, but served more as a quick fact and something interesting to learn.
Because of all that, I think the book may have a limited audience. As I was reading, I wasn't really sure what tween or young teen reader I would give this book to. But there's a reader for every book. While the audience for this one may be small, I met a couple of young teens during my school visits last week who said they love science and I think they would enjoy this book.
I would be interested to see how a student like Eddy, who sometimes has trouble with abstract concepts, would handle this book. Because I felt the author did a great job with Eddy and explaining things, I think this might be a rare book that readers on the autism spectrum that often have trouble with books being too abstract would have an easier time with.
I also really liked the plot line of Eddy standing up for himself to the bullies and discovering what made a true friend, although I wished it could have been developed a bit more. This one would be good for tweens or younger teens-especially if you have readers who always gravitate towards non-fiction and never try fiction. There's a nice mix of both in this one that's it's sure to please.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC sent by author for review