Illustrated by Jey Odin
In a not-so-distant future, or perhaps an alternate dimension, everyone is gifted in science and math. Robbie is no exception - he’s a super, super genius. Mad scientist Robbie decides to create a state of the art lemonade stand that will mix customers any flavor lemonade they want. His profits will help fund his super secret genius project. But when new girl, Daphne Du-Ri sets up her lemonade stand right across the street, she derails all of Robbie's plans. Her lemonade somehow resonates with people, and they can't get enough, while with his, the gimmick is sure to wear off. Robbie and Daphne go head-to-head in a battle for the neighborhood's very soul.
The first half of this story is really sweet and fun. There are some great humorous moments as Robbie gets more and more frustrated. Robbie is a good kid despite being an evil genius. He helps his mom out by giving her half of what he raises, all so that she can hopefully find a job she hates a little less, and get back to her plots to take over the world. Then, Daphne punches Robbie, and the science bits start to get a little crazy. Robbie finds himself sinking deeper into his subconscious, and he becomes attuned to Daphne's lemonade, and he has some epiphanies about binary and other, more complex codes. We finally get to see Robbie's super evil invention, and the entire concept of it is a little confusing to me. Nevertheless, the tidy ending will leave you with some warm fuzzies to go along with your head scratching.
Odin's art is bright and beautiful. The facial expressions of the two leads are extremely animated. The character designs are vivid and varied, which was especially appreciated in the large crowd scenes. This book was a delight to look at.
Oni Press rates this for Middle Grades. Aside from the complicated coding and science-y bits, I think any middle grade student would be drawn to this story. Those with a love for coding already will definitely enjoy the second half of the book.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 6-8
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Middle School, Graphic Literature, Science, Friendship, Family, Humor, CSLA 2021
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