Saturday, October 1, 2011

Popular Clone by M.E. Castle

I just reviewed this for School Library Journal and liked it.  It has a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid/Alex Rider/Mysterious Benedict Society" vibe, if you can imagine that.  Our hero is Fisher Bas, son of Nobel prize winning scientists and no slouch when it comes to science experimentation of his own.  He would much rather hang around his house an conduct his own research accompanied by his sidekick, FP (a "flying pig" that his mom created on a dare).  He can also always count on the sage advice of his sentient toaster who happens to speak and dream in an English accent.  All of the appliances happen to be intelligent in the Bas household, by the way. But the toaster is very special.

So Fisher has decided to achieve this dream of not having to attend school where everything is ruled by thugs that he calls "The Viking" by using his mother's new growth hormone to grow his own clone.  This experiment succeeds but what he does not expect is that his clone will have a mind of his own and also has the skills to become wildly popular at school!  Can he rein in his own clone? And why is "Two" so socially successful when Fisher does not have the same skills?

While trying to manage his clone, he's also having to deal with the dangerous Dr. X, who has his own nefarious plans for Fisher's mother's growth hormone. 
This is a very fun book.  I wish that the cover were a little different.  I feel that it might keep more mature readers from picking it off the shelves.  I'll do some experimentation myself at school this week.  My hypothesis is that the cover will make it a tough sell even to its target demographic of intelligent boys from ages 9 to 13.  I think that the fact that it has a lethal popcorn gun might help sell it, however. 

I especially liked page 161 where 'Two" attempts to quote Napoleon: "Don't stomp a slug unless you want goo on your shoes." Fisher One protests that Napoleon never said that and "Two" says: "But Wikipedia!

 To see more about my "love/hate" relationship with Wikipedia and to download my FREE SIM GAME on how it is created, click here.

And at least one other blogger has reviewed it.  Click the icon below to find out out what Donna and her 5th grade son have to say about it. 

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