The Genius Factor: How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin

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The Genius Factor: How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A bonkers - and dangerous! - day out ensues for Delphine when she makes friends with Nate Bannister and his talking dog. An irresistibly madcap adventure from one of the Angry Bird writers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: April 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408869977

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Delphine is quite a normal 6th grader, if with a few eccentric traits. She has dozens of friends, argues with her siblings, misbehaves in class but not too much, disobeys her parents but not too seriously, and earns extra pocket money by dog-walking. She spends this money on cake. Mostly. Nate is not like Delphine. He has no friends and mostly goes under the radar of 6th grade society. But Delphine has noticed him and for good reason: Nate is a genius. He's so clever that he's even been studied by foreign academics. Not that this gains him much currency with his peers.

But Delphine thinks Nate is cool. And she thinks he's even cooler when she discovers his dog can talk. And so Delphine becomes Nate's only friend.

Every Friday the 13th, Nate does three not so smart things. This year, he has enlarged his pet cat, Proton, to giant proportions, made her invisible, and secreted the special formula to turn her back to visibly normal all over town. I think we can all agree this is not so smart! Especially when Proton escapes and goes on a rampage about the town. Since Delphine is Nate's only friend, he recruits her to help him find Proton and the formula to make her normal again, and save the town. That's if they can avoid the Red Death Tea Society while they're about it...

Oh, oh, oh! How to Capture an Invisible Cat may be intended for middle grade readers but I am entirely sure it was intended for me, too. It's a joyous, madcap adventure with a zany creativity that it is impossible to resist. I want to be a junior genius inventor! I want to be the friend of a junior genius inventor! I want to own a talking dog! I want my cat to become an invisible giant, even if she does wreck an entire town! I want to live in this book. Really, I do.

And just look at the lovely UK cover, given to us by Thierry Lafontaine. That's how I imagined Proton, right down to the Miffyesque nose. I love it.

This story has pace in spades, takes joy in language, and encourages readers to indulge their imaginations and their creativity. And it also has some underlying messages about the coolness of geeks. What more could you want?

You might also enjoy How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant by Elen Caldecott.

Buy The Genius Factor: How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Genius Factor: How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Genius Factor: How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Genius Factor: How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul Tobin at Amazon.com.


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