Tom Franklin's Reviews > The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black

The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious... by Eden Unger Bowditch
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's review
Mar 19, 2011

it was ok
Read from March 14 to 18, 2011

When the mysterious men in black visit some brilliant scientists, they all pack up their bags and children and head to Ohio. Abruptly, the children are all sent to an odd school in the middle of farm country where the men in black keep an eerie watch over them.

The children, all scientific geniuses on their own, must learn to get along with and trust one another to devise a plan that will allow them to escape and find their parents.

There are additional elements that add to the charm of this story: A school teacher who realizes that her charges may be geniuses but they've rarely experienced any of the joys of childhood; the men in black each wear unique, bizarre black costumes; such a wealth of food that it would be easy to get hungry just reading the descriptions; an enterprising plan for escape that will change history; and a story that weaves the ongoing story with individual backstory chapters for each of the children.

This was a book that initially charmed me. By the end, however, I was left largely disappointed. Here's why:

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