Doubleday, 2009 (2009)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
fter the fiasco at her public school science fair (in which her photonsail space travel exhibit is light years beyond the judges' comprehension) eleven-year-old supergenius Amanda Forsythe (considered a
by her peers) is in despair - until she's approached by the very oddly dressed Dr. Gladys Oppenheimer and Professor Mildred Leitspied of the STAR (
Superior Thinking and Advanced Research
) Academy and offered a chance to be tested to join its ranks.
fter she scores high on the unusual test and her father learns that no fees are involved, Amanda's mother reluctantly agrees to let her go (though her family don't understand her, they do love her, even her annoying younger brother). She travels to the Academy, which is far from major population centers, on top of a hill, and surrounded by a cemetery. Inside, she has a microchip inserted and must wear an ankle bracelet, procedures she finds odd.
ther than its intake procedures, the Academy is amazing, with superb food, extraordinary tools, and ultra-gifted fellow students to whom Amanda can - for once in her life - relate. That is, aside from heiress Eugenia Snootman who '
thinks the universe revolves around her
' and '
has a disturbing fascination with trans-species DNA implants.
ut Amanda and her new friends Evelyn, Derek and Sanjay soon discover there's something very wrong with their superschool, and become concerned about how the inventions they've been busy designing will be used. It takes all their talents (in science, deception, and sewer navigation) to save the world - and, of course, the unpleasant Eugenia gets exactly what she deserves. Edward Kay's
is great fun for geeks of all ages.
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