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Author: DiMartino, Michael Dante
[1st in the series] In twelve-year-old Giacomo's Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. Every artist possesses a Genius, a birdlike creature that is the living embodiment of an artist's creative spirit. Those caught with one face severe punishment, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he's in big trouble.
Rebel Genius, 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 184758
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 20.0 Quiz: 69564
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/16)
School Library Journal (08/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2016 Gr 5–7—The cocreator of the award-winning television series Avatar: The Last Airbender has written his first book for children, and the result is an interesting, if overly long, blend of Renaissance art, sacred geometry, magic, and a hero origin story. Playing with the Renaissance theory that a genius is an actual being who guides talented people in their art, DiMartino introduces readers to Giacomo, an orphan in a world where art has been outlawed. All geniuses were captured by the tyrannical government, but Giacomo, who has been living in the sewers, finds himself in possession of a genius shortly after the narrative begins. His new companion leads him to join a secret group of students learning to use their artistic powers to fight against oppression. The students represent a range of diverse features and skin colors. A highlight of the Avatar series was its detailed setting, and Giacomo's lush and intricate world does not disappoint. The plot hits some familiar notes and does more telling than showing, but readers will be drawn into this highly stylized world. VERDICT Though this series opener is not perfect, the author's famous past works should lead to high interest in most public and school libraries. Give this one to fans of Lisa McMann's The Unwanteds.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2016 Giacomo is a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the sewers of Renaissance-inspired Virenzia. His prized possession is a sketchbook, though drawing is risky as the Supreme Creator, or dictator, has outlawed art. When his personal Genius—a birdlike creature that enhances artistic abilities—finds him, he is dangerously marked as an artist. Shortly thereafter, a trio of other artistic children find him and take him to a safe house where they are allowed to flourish. There they are taught sacred geometry and how to use their creative energies as weapons. When an evil artist begins hunting for the three Sacred Tools of the Creator, with the intent of destroying the empire, Giacomo is called upon to lead his new compatriots on a quest to stop him. This debut novel, by the cocreator of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, is the first in a planned fantasy series. While some of the combined magic and geometry falls flat, there is action and adventure galore, including narrow escapes, surprising twists, and stunning turns. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.