Brendan Buckley is back, (after Brenda Buckley's Universe and Everything in It) and he is still interested in science. Not only is he busy collecting rock samples with his newly found white grandfather, but he is working with a new GIRL classmate on a biomass fuel project for the science fair. Add to the general mayhem the fact that his parents are trying to adopt a baby, and Brendan's involvement in Tae Kwan Do, and this is one busy middle grade story. The addition of the equally science obsessed Michelle, and Brendan's reluctance to hang out with her because his friends don't hang out with girls, is a very nice touch.
There are few books about science fairs, so this is one that science teachers and students who want ideas for a projects will like. Frazier has a good feel for the middle school mind, and Brendan's reactions are spot on. This book predates the push for diversity in characters, but Brendan is biracial and has a few issues with his family that are dealt with in a realistic fashion.