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The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,891 ratings  ·  204 reviews
Super-smart Julian Calendar thinks starting junior high at a new school will mean he can shed his nerdy image-but then he meets Ben and Greta, two secret scientists like himself! The three form a secret club, complete with a high-tech lair. There, they can work to their hearts content on projects like the Stink-O-Meter, the Kablovsky Copter, and the Nightsneak Goggles.

Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Julian Calendar is off for his first day at a new school when his mother cheerfully suggests, " . . . just be yourself, and you'll make lots of friends!" Julian was himself at his last school, and was picked on for being a nerd. This time around, he's determined to fit in. He professes to enjoy "hanging out" at the local mall and watching sports on TV all in an effort to make friends. Too bad he almost blows it by being caught reading a book in the cafeteria. But one day, when the teacher is tal ...more
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Betsy by: John Peters
You know a book’s gotta be good when the first thought that enters your brain after reading it is, “I bet this took the author YEARS and YEARS to finish!” If you’re reading a novel then it’s probably a good bet you thought that because the story is long and convoluted. But if you think it about a graphic novel, there’s really only one reason for that. It must be heavily detailed, complicated, well written, and intense. Meet The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook then. A little book th ...more
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
A humble suggestion:

If you see this book, open it up, flip through it. The sheer amount of creativity and inventiveness is stunning. Eleanor Davis (creator of last year’s Geisel Honor-winning easy reader graphic novel Stinky) takes ideas that have been done before, adds elements that are brand new, churns it all through her imagination, and creates an highly detailed graphic novel that makes most others look half-baked. In doing so Davis proves herself as a talent to watch. The result is a wildl
Jul 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, middle-grade
This would probably be a big hit with science-minded middle grade readers. I liked it well enough, for the sheer energy and imagination that's in abundance on virtually every page. But for me, the story was a bit predictable, and the characters were a bit thin. Not even remotely a bad book, but not great, not for me.
Nancy Kotkin
Story: 4 stars
Art: 5 stars

Three science-loving kids form a secret club to design and create inventions. That concept, while not new, is really well-executed in this children's graphic novel. With prototypes of their inventions, the kids battle it out with an evil adult villain who has stolen their inventors' notebook. Plot is predictable, and moves somewhat slowly in the first half of the book. Detailed art takes up the slack where the story drags in places. While the characters are stereotypes
Dov Zeller
This is so wildly different from Davis's adult comics it's wonderful to see her breadth in terms of style and storytelling. And this is a fun little book. A bit predictable, as many gr reviewers have pointed out, and kind of Scooby Doo silly in moments, and yet, also wonderfully, er, inventive.

I tend to appreciate the message that being an outsider in a particular school or other specific context/temporary location, doesn't mean you'll be an outsider forever. And I also appreciate another messa
Arsh M
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I am curently reading The Secret Science Alliance. I am at the part where Stringer steals Juilan,Ben,and Greta's notebook filled with blueprints of
inventions that thay thought of. I think me and Ben have some in common like we both like basketball and like to build stuff.I think the theme of this book is to be who you are and eventuality someone will like you because Juilan was trying to be athletic to get friends but he did so he stuck to being himself and got 2 amazing friends. I think the aut
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Janet by: Deirdre Sayre, Kerry Steinberg
Delightfully inventive and really clever, this is just the right book for creative kids, retired scientists, fans of adventure, lovers of colorful art, and more. I need to write a better review later, because I LOVE this. I'm not sure why I took so long to actually read it.
Prince William Public Library System
Eleven-year-old Julian Calendar is tormented by his classmates because he wears giant glasses, is rotten at sports, and loves science and math. When his family moves to a new city, Julian sees it as a chance to hide his nerdiness and try to fit in with one of the popular cliques at his new school. His attempt to reinvent himself isn’t very successful, but his prospects start to improve when he receives a coded message inviting him to join a mysterious club. With his new friends in the Secret Sci ...more
I love Eleanor Davis's comics & artwork. She knows how to tell a story. As someone who knows her through her more "adult" work, I was curious how she would tackle a children's story and was excited to see this book at my local library.

Overall, I thought the story was good, albeit simple and a bit predictable. I liked the characters and can definitely see this being the beginning of a series in which the three main characters and their families become more fully developed. I was hoping for so
Melissa Mcavoy
Age Range: from 7-? The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook has everything going for it: whiz-bang plot with intricate details, super-cool and super-nerdy characters, dozens of awesome kid-inventions, one of the best hideout laboratories ever and an insanely inventive and tireless illustrator whose graphic strengths and story-telling skills are boundless. Eleven year-old Julian Calendar’s move gives him a second chance at junior-high. Trying to avoid being pegged for a nerd, Julian str ...more
Chelsea Couillard-Smith
Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a fun graphic novel celebrating science and invention - I know, sounds odd. Julian Calendar would really like to avoid being labeled as a nerd at his new school. Even as he struggles to keep his smarts hidden, two unexpected allies appear. Together, they form the Secret Science Alliance, complete with secret lair. When their inventions are stolen by a copycat scientist, they put their gadgets into action. Great characters, lots of nerdy scienceness, but still action packed and sure to en ...more
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love a museum caper and I enjoyed this vividly illustrated graphic novel. The characters are smart and have more depth than I would have expected. It was really a fun read. However, I did not like that some of the speech bubbles were obscured by other graphics. I could read enough to know what the obscured bubble was all about but it was nevertheless annoying. Readers of graphic novels such as Bone, Bionicle, Hardy Boys, etc., should enjoy this one.
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
i love this story. i love the adventure and the suspense. the way julian is afraid of showing his dorkiness at first, then learns to show people who you really are. his two friends who at first he thought were nothings turned out to be his best friends. i just LOVE this book.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fun - with lots of science/ inventor tie ins. My ultra sciencey sons both inhaled it and insisted I read.
Kris Patrick
Jan 19, 2017 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I don't do microscopic print
Nov 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
A fantastic graphic novel for science-minded readers. Reminds me of Disney's Kim Possible show.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really like this graphic novel, the author use funny word of adventure, of science, also I learn a lot of science that I should learn in high school. This book tells that three little classmate all know that they love science, and two of them decide to build a science lab and entitle the main character to join, from some news paper they knew a famous scientist is trying make the world modern and when they try to visit the factor of the famous science were, they found a very secret information ...more
Sam Zhou
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is by Eleanor Davis. It is a book about a boy, a girl and a high school student. The boy come to the school, but many people bit him, then the girl protect him, the high school student is the girl’s brother, the boy know many thing about the science, they they make the plane together, they learn by go to the museum, read the books, and make the juice gun, glue bomb. Untill they know an old scientist want to steal some thing in the museum, they take everything can stop him and they even ...more
Jenna Iden
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Is this mind-blowingly original? No, probably not. Is it earnest and funny? Yes and yes.

I found a couple of scenes particularly heart-wrenching: one when Julian is rejected an older scientist and he wonders what he did wrong to warrant such treatment (the comic panel behind him literally shatters), and the many moments when Ben doubts himself (a brilliant kid who tests poorly and suffers intense self-doubt).

I hope this is a series!
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Synopsis: awkward young nerd finally finds his people, and together they unlock a superpower (the self-assurance of being accepted by your peers). They also foil a dastardly plot by the villain of the piece using SCIENCE. Rating for any 8-12 year-old who is interested in STEM subjects: 5 out of 5. Rating for adults interested in same: 5 out of 5. This book is absolutely stuffed full of detail on every page, and definitely benefits from more than one read through. Highly recommended!
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sometimes it's hard to find books that have a great message but don't hit you over the head with it.

And I think this book has a great take on, be yourself, it's okay to be smart in a fun middle grade graphic novel.

Recommended for your 7-12 year old.

Of course, I enjoyed it, and I'm 45.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book.It talks about those three kids they are really naughty like to make troubles.also really smart.They have there own room like a science lab, pretty cool.I love those kids because they’re having a lot of fun everyday.They are free, after school they stay together at there science lab and do the work.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
the book need to be a little more realistic and the kids are bland. and the logic is just bad like why hide a book in a safe take it home and how did they not see that ben as the birdwatcher i mean the gruad saw him like how are you so dumb. when they first met
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I actually loved this because of the kid struggling with imposter syndrome because his smarts and creativity don't seem to have an impact on his grades. Definitely trying this for bookclub.
Three kids break the rules of cliques and join in an alliance based on their love of inventing. They find each other none too soon, for an evil plan is afoot.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book to teach various reading skills through.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel is a great story about science and friendship. This will appeal to young readers with its bright, dynamic pictures and fun cast of characters.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun, geeky comic.
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My name is Eleanor Davis. I’m a cartoonist and illustrator. A collection of my short comics for adults, How To Be Happy, is out now from Fantagraphics Books. I have two graphic novels for kids: The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook (2009) which I created with my husband Drew Weing, and the easy-reader Stinky (2008). I live in Athens, Georgia.

Clients include: The New Yorker, The New Yor