Review Blog

Nov 01 2018

How to tame a human tornado by Paul Tobin

cover image

The genius factor, book 3. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781619638990
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Themes: Science experiments. Gifted children. Inventions. Friendship. Sixth-grade gifted inventor Nate Bannister and his best friend Delphine return in the third book of The genius factor series. Frenetically-paced, constantly chased, scientifically amazed, How to tame a human tornado challenges our beliefs as we follow in the wake of Nathan's outrageous escapades.
While trying to avoid the evil Red Tea Society and all their wicked destructive schemes, Nate has found time to hide his science vials all over town. Each contains a crazy invention, a plague of toads, a brother turned into a zebra running with a pack of humans also morphed into zebras and wild lightning storms that won't stop. Super-wealthy Nate and his talking dog Bosper are a force to be reckoned with: on Friday the 13th he usually does three outrageous things, this time he's exceeded his quota causing mayhem in his home town Polt. His friend who is definitely not his girlfriend is taken along for the ride, literally. There's even an improved jetbelt fitted with miniature magnetoplasma rockets to assist Delphine and her talking bee Melville to escape from the villains chasing them.
When Nate talks scientifically, explaining the structure and capability of each invention, Delphine is more concerned about practical issues. The Red Death Society know where Nate lives and his mission needs to focus on concealing all the hidden vials. When Delphine's friends become involved, drinking vials of Gravity Dispersal potion and Crayon Summoning, her adventure course training is a vital tool in their rescue. Delphine's daily exercise in her backyard obstacle course has increased her physical and mental agility. Flying cars that talk even while underwater, talking animals, hyper-speeding people and the wildest weather add to the heightened drama.
Paul Tobin's How to tame a human tornado is a rollercoaster ride at warp speed! There are multiple absurd and crazy characters, situations and settings that twist and turn continuously. Friendship, wittiness, scientific and mathematical knowledge add to the enjoyment of reading this novel for middle grade students. Humorous scenes, being chased by rubber boots, attacked and buried under layers of toads and Bosper's smart doggy comments add excitement. Where to next for Nate and Delphine, especially with the Red Tea Death Society having a base under the lake?
An exciting, slightly crazy novel filled with science and technology suitable for preteens, teenagers and adults.
Rhyllis Bignell

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