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Author: Ford, Martyn
A ten-year-old orphan discovers a box that can make the things he imagines become real and must keep the contraption from getting into the wrong hands with the help of a professor, his granddaughter, and a well-versed finger monkey.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 183624
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 69405
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/01/16)
School Library Journal (-) (06/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 Gr 3–6—What if there were a machine that could create anything one imagined? Professor Eisenstone has such a machine. And Tim has the imagination. Together they have the ability to create magical, wondrous things. But when the professor goes missing, it is up to Tim and his friend Dee to rescue him and keep the Imagination Box out of the wrong hands. If they fail, the consequences could be disastrous. Plagued with two-dimensional, flat characters and a plot filled with giant leaps and deep holes, this title falls far short of expectations. The interesting premise never materializes into matter, unlike the fruits of Tim's imagination. At the heart of the story is a lonely boy who is often left to his own devices and a strange scientist who encourages the boy to keep secrets that place him in danger. Distrustful adults, including a police officer and clueless parental figures, hamper the story and impede the natural flow of the narrative. VERDICT Despite the creative premise, this is a disappointing novel that falls short on imagination.—Elizabeth Speer, Weatherford College, Weatherford, TX - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 07/01/2016 Ten-year-old Tim has a long and lonely summer vacation stretching out before him. He doesn’t have friends, and his newly adoptive parents are rarely around. Then Professor Eisenstone appears with a mysterious project: a box that will produce anything that the person wearing the attached helmet imagines. The professor can’t get it to work, but Tim, who’s accustomed to being alone, has an unusually vivid imagination, and for him, creating objects, such as a wry finger monkey named Phil, is a piece of cake. But when Eisenstone goes missing, Tim and Phil, along with the professor’s granddaughter, Dee, are the only ones with the wherewithal to find him, and a thrilling chase ensues. Both plot and characters are broadly drawn with both dramatic and humorous touches, and while Tim’s speech is a bit formal and stilted for a 10-year-old, it fits his rather lonely character. With a solid mystery, fantastic device, warm friendships, a funny monkey, and heartening conclusion, this has a heaping serving of middle-grade antics and should find broad appeal. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.