The Science Fair Is Freaky
Eerie Elementary is having a science fair. Sam, Antonio, and Lucy are hard at work on their projects when they find a strange, old book. Suddenly, the school comes alive! The ground shakes, science projects explode, and the school gym turns into a giant volcano! How will Sam and his friends fight hot lava? And what is hidden in that strange, old book?
This story abounds with mystery and action, along with the positive themes of research, responsibility, and teamwork. While this is actually #4 in the Eerie Elementary series, the book can adequately stand alone. Although, one continually gets the impression that Sam, Lucy, and Antonio have a long history of dealing with their “living” school and its supernaturally-inclined shenanigans.
The Science Fair Is Freaky is comprised of 90 full pages of larger font, interspersed with black and white illustrations on every page. The illustrations are clear and detailed (in a style that reminds this reader vaguely of the late-90’s kid’s cartoon: Recess) , ranging in size from 1/6th of a page to a little more than half a page. The result is a sort of hybrid graphic novel feel that both speeds and eases the reading process.
The prose is unobtrusive and the dialogue feels natural. Toward the end it felt a little more drawn out than needed, and I would have liked to see a little more characterization between the three main characters. But the plot-driven approach does keep the pacing and intrigue at consistently high levels.
I read this in two sittings with my 2nd grader, and he voluntarily re-read it by himself a few weeks later. (Which says a lot about its appeal.)