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Don't Miss The Atomic Weight of Secrets
(or the Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black)

Book One of The Young Inventors Guild

"Simply brilliant."P.B. Kerr, author of the Children of the Lamp series and other Young Adult bestsellers

“A wonderfully delightful and charming book that will engage a wide age range of children and young adults.”—Susan Wilner, Chicago Public Library

“I simply loved ‘The Atomic Weight of Secrets.” As you can imagine, I’ve read more than a few young adult books. ‘The Atomic Weight’ was every bit as wonderful and riveting as any of them.  I couldn't put it down!  I was reading late into the night, eyes heavy with sleepiness, but I still couldn't stop. Bravo! I cannot wait for the next one!Sharon Morrill, former head, DisneyToon Studios

"While studio executives and movie producers squabble over the screen rights, parents and children will be fighting over the reading rights to Eden Unger Bowditch's marvelous new novel.  To ensure a peaceful household, purchase several copies. The Atomic Weight of Secrets gives us a world as rich and strange as childhood itself. So inventive and so compelling, with something very sad and tender and allegorical at its core, this adorable novel is an absolute charmer. It made me laugh, too, many times, and embarrassingly hard. Hilarious! More! More!" —Daniel Vilmure, author of the critically acclaimed novels Life in the Land of the Living and Toby's Lie 

“I love this book and if a movie is made of it, it will be awesome, too. I love it because it seems so re al. It's the perfect book for a summer holiday. I'm sure everyone who buys this book will laugh and enjoy it as much as I did. If I was rating this book, I'd give it the highest rank you could.”—Hamish Newall, Age 9

“Eden Unger Bowditch’s The Atomic Weight of Secrets truly captures the voices of young people. It presents the characters as children, yet, through their shared experiences and, in some ways, because they must raise themselves, they mature beyond the years of normal children of that age. A nice balance was struck between these two. My favorite character was Faye. I guess it’s because I am the father of two daughters, so I could identify with her best. Plus, the initial part of the book, when she was separated from her parents, was very powerful. The fear and the confusion the author captured here was overwhelming to me. That part of the book struck an emotive chord partly because I was identifying Faye’s fear with that of my own girls if they were in a similar situation. It was frightening, quite frankly.  The Atomic Weight of Secrets is a very specialcreation. It and the rest of the series will undoubtedly capture audiences of readers both young and old.  An imaginative plot full of intrigue and mystery, characters that middle school kids can relate to, plus the science and invention elements, will appeal to a whole subset of young readers.”—Andrew Ferguson, Middle School Principal

“Excellent! I got totally sucked into this world and its characters and often forgot it was fiction, not fact.”—Wendy Vissar, photojournalist

“Imaginative, inventive, and inspiring.”—Polly Thomas, award-winning independent radio drama producer

The Atomic Weight of Secrets is a one of a kind book. Populated with a solid ensemble of characters, the story continually unfolds into surprise after surprise. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading speculative fiction, science, or history.” ( http://www.librarything.com/pics/ss10.gif)—Jason Williford, Graphic Designer, Developer, illustrator, Raleigh, NC

"An enigmatic, spellbinding adventure that will cause the most stoic of readers to bite their nails.  These five endearing young inventors will leave your heart warmed, and rapidly palpitating, as they set off on the greatest adventure of their lives! Suddenly taken from their families, by the mysteriously garbed ‘men in black,’ Jasper, Lucy, Wallace, Noah, and Faye must work together to save the ones they love. A suspenseful mystery of scientific proportions that will leave you eagerly wishing you were the sixth member of this astounding Young Inventors Guild."—Charles J. Brady, Scientist, Boston, MA

“With some other books, I have to force myself to keep reading. Not so the fantastic Atomic Weight of Secrets. It grabbed my attention at the start and kept it throughout!”—Nicolas  Slackman, 12

“This story had me asking myself why anyone needs the 'supernatural' when a skillful storyteller can open their eyes again to the magic in the world around us. In this novel, I experienced a 'through the Looking Glass' sensation of wondering where I was, yet big 'aha' moments when realizing everything was still within the realm of the possible. The ingenuity of the characters, the structure of their story, and the light of kindness in every word come from an author you'll wind up wishing you had for a friend.”—Sara Allen, Songwriter (co-writer of such hits as "You Make My Dreams," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go for That," and "Maneater")

"An intelligent, spirited novel filled with fascinating characters and wondrous minds. Eden Unger Bowditch's five young inventors rollick through a world of whispers and mystery at the dawn of a new century. What awaits them? And who are these strange men in black? The Atomic Weight of Secrets is a story about science, the bonds of love, and the power of imagination." Jeffrey Fleishman, author of Promised Virgins, A Novel of Jihad

“A great start to the series. I can hardly believe this is only intended to be a trilogy. It seems like there is so much more potential than could possibly be covered in only three books. I liked the way the author wove in an introduction to each of the main characters along the way. When I got to the end, I wished I could keep reading because there was so much more I wanted to know. Definitely recommended to young inventors of any age. 5 of 5 stars.”—R. Scott Steele, Author in Progress blog

The Atomic Weight of Secrets or the Arrival of the Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch is really for young adults, but I found myself intrigued by the story. The story is centered around five children ranging in age from six to thirteen, but these are not ordinary children. They are the children of brilliant scientists from all over the world. The children themselves possess extraordinary intelligence and come together by circumstance. When the scientist parents are taken away by the men in black, the children are shipped off to live together on a farm in Dayton, Ohio. There they learn about each other’s talents while attempting to unravel the mystery of their parents’ disappearance. Why have their parents disappeared without a word for weeks? Will they ever see them again? And who are these men in black who guard over them? The book has many twists and turns and I enjoyed attempting to unravel them. The author portrays each child with a strength and a weakness, which lends the characters depth and believability. From the smallest to the oldest child, each had a range of believable emotions and actions. The author used the characters’ situation to infuse the story with real emotions of abandonment, fear, and confusion . . . I enjoyed reading The Atomic Weight of Secrets and I look forward to finding out what new mysteries await in the second book. Children of all ages will enjoy the story and solving the mystery of the men in black.”—Blogging Mama

“This is a fun book that will be great for kids (or adults) who like A Series of Unfortunate Events. The adventure is set in 1903, around the time when the Wright Brothers invented the first airplane. Five children are thrown together when their scientist parents are needed for some super-secret project. The project is so super-secret that the kids don't know where they are or why they have been separated. They go about inventing things to help them get away from the school they have been sent to and to find their missing parents … The story was great. A scene where a teacher is beaten by a bad guy for information and the history of neglect by the parents of the children are a bit disturbing, so I wouldn't recommend it to sensitive children. I'd say the right age range is 7-12, but anyone will like this book. I am only sorry it doesn't come out until April; I can't start recommending it right away.”—Jessica Lucas, Teen Librarian, Seattle Public Library, and My Library World (Her Blog)

“As I inhaled the magical writing, I kept thinking: Why can't I wipe the smile off my face? This book is such a delight, it’s quite a shame that it has to end. (Of course, I know it does not; a second one will soon follow). The Atomic Weight of Secrets teaches, builds character and self-assurance, never preaches, and is witty, wise, and thoroughly fascinating! I love it, and I am hooked!”—Kati  Samet, Longtime Judge, Jeff Awards (Chicago's Tony Awards)

“This page turner—The Series of Unfortunate Events meets Encyclopedia Brown—was a delight to read. Five children find themselves estranged from their parents by the bizarrely dressed men in black. Were their parents kidnapped? Could their latest invention save them all? I invite to you read for yourself the fate of these fabulous five . . . The character development creates such a bond that I can tell who says any line in the book without the aid of a disclosure statement . . . Put me on the list for book 2.”—Cathy Peterson, Library Consultant,  California

The Atomic Weight of Secrets is a little mystery, a little adventure, and a lot of fun to read. I'm sure this will be a hit with upper elementary and lower middle school kids. Five super smart children are taken from the lives they know and plunked down in the middle of nowhere to live with a teacher on a farm. No one tells the children why they have been placed in this predicament, but they soon become friends working together to get back to their parents. This isn't the next Harry Potter series, but it was a very enjoyable read.”Janice Melchiori , Middle School Librarian, Hamilton, IN

“This book is most definitely written for the younger spectrum of the young adult audience. However, I found myself always wondering what was going to happen next, which made me not want to put the book down. The characters are charming. I fell in love with all of the five young inventors and completely sympathized with their individual worries. What I love about them is that they each have unique strengths and personalities and can bring different ideas to the table. The way they interact with each other shows how important friendship is and how a group of people (even children) can be more brilliant with each other than without. One of the best things about this book is the growth that happens throughout the story. Each of the characters changes in some way because of the obstacles they face and because of the friendships they build with each other. I also like how Bowditch gives us excerpts from each of the character’s points of view, even Miss Brett, the teacher who is put in charge of the five inventors. This really allowed me to connect with every character and get a sense of who they are, where they come from, and what challenges they face within their lives . . . This is a fun, entertaining book . . . . I enjoyed it, and I think those who are interested in mystery, kid geniuses, and historical fiction may enjoy it too.”—Alyssa Archambo, reviewer, The Lit Express blog, which caters to readers and writers of YA lit

“The kids are an amusing lot, and I seem to have a certain fondness for genius children, so I enjoyed that part. I have to admit that I even found some of the more melodramatic characterizations of the kids amusing . . . The book has some good teaching points, which I thought was a nice touch, mixed in with some whimsy.”—Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books

“Do you have kiddos who like rollicking stories of other precocious children? You do? Excellent! Read this book to them or better yet, give this book to them to read. Eden Unger Bowditch has crafted a fabulous story of five remarkable children with equally remarkable and missing parents, a mysterious school, a warmhearted teacher, loving nannies, and a fast paced ending that incorporates historical figures. This is a book I can't quit gushing about. My four-year-old loved me reading it to her, chapter by chapter, and even I am awaiting the sequel. I would say this book is appropriate for all ages of readers. A highly recommended book!”—Samantha Roberts, Principal, St. Marks United Methodist Church School, Hampton, VA

The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch gives late elementary and middle school readers adventure, mystery, suspense and a cast of clever characters that will have them turning pages way past bedtime. Five young inventors are taken from their scientist parents in1903 to an isolated farm in Ohio. They are under constant surveillance and believe that they and their parents may be in serious danger. The author leads the reader to evaluate the role of the mysterious men in black. Are they there to protect the children or keep them separated from their parents? The seemingly never-ending variety of disguises for these mysterious men will puzzle and intrigue the reader and adds an element of humour to the more frightening moments that occur for the characters. The characters grow and learn valuable life lessons: selfishness isolates, teamwork gets the job done, listening to the ideas of others benefits everyone, and friendship is more valuable than personal gain. These lessons help them to become more well-rounded children who develop a deeper appreciation for friendship in general and their new bonds in particular. The dialogue is clever and the author is an excellent wordsmith for children. Lines like ‘Then Faye dug out her pouting face and tried it on again’ entertain and engage the reader deeper into the story. The reader is left begging for more and will be delighted to find the prologue for book two at the end of the story. Hopefully, there will be many more adventures to come.”—Wanda Costinak, book-loving mother of two who works in a library and is an elementary school music teacher

The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch intrigued me with its blurb from P.B. Kerr (‘Simply Brilliant.’). It is a story about science and friendship and will be published on March 15. It is labeled young adult, but the age of the characters makes me think that this will appeal to middle grade students too.”—Kathy Martin, Librarian, Dover-Eyota School District, Southeast Minnesota

The Atomic Weight of Secrets by Eden Unger Bowditch was a fun book and will be great for kids (or adults) who like A Series of Unfortunate Events.  The adventure is set in 1903, and five children are thrown together when their scientist parents are needed for some super-secret project.  The project is so super-secret that the kids don’t know where they are or why they have been separated and go about inventing things to help them get away from the school they have been sent to and to find their missing parents . . .  I’d say the age is 7-12, but anyone would like this book.”—Library Underworld

“Eden Unger Bowditch reveals all in this secretive, mind-boggling tale of five young inventors struggling to find the truth. Quite a lot to take in, but well worth it! Eden Unger Bowditch’s first young adult novel does not disappoint! The story definitely provides a maze of possibilities that can lead to dead ends or the ultimate truth. The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black is a very enjoyable and fun novel to read . . . I was constantly led on a trail of false leads and accusations that kept me on my toes. I never knew what to expect from Lucy, Jasper, Faye, Noah, Wallace, or the men in the black. I love how I was constantly entertained by what might lay ahead and the endless directions in which the story could go. This open-endedness allowed me to explore my imagination and keep an open mind about characters or events that occurred in the story. This also added to the aspect of secrecy and elusiveness that the men in black portrayed. I can’t wait to learn more in the sequel to The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black! The characters are all so easy to relate to, especially the kids. I applaud Eden Unger Bowditch for doing such a splendid job developing and shaping them. It was nice to see that each child had a story of their own. I really felt more for them when they were taken away from their beloved parents or when they thought back on how life used to be because of this. Each one of them really is brilliant too. Lucy with her perfect memory, Jasper with his steady head, Faye with her bold ideas and determination, the musically acclaimed Noah with his wry sense of humor, and the ever-present Wallace who is always there to lend a hand. These characters I hold dear. Many little details added to the overall essence of The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black. One such aspect is the way in which the title of the book and the title for every chapter is done. I enjoyed how there was a more direct title, and then after the ‘or’ there was a title that made a little more sense and told me what was coming. Even the way in which the mysterious men in black were dressed added a sense of cheery innocence. In the end, The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black is an enjoyable adventure with mystery and hidden meanings. Join the five young children who make up The Young Inventor’s Guild, Lucy, Jasper, Faye, Noah, and Wallace, as they tinker their way to the truth in The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black!”—From the Bookshelf of T.B. (8th grader Tessa Belle)

“With a nod to Patrick McGoohan’s 1960s TV show The Prisoner, readers of all ages will appreciate this suspense thriller, though middle schoolers are the targeted audience. The five children characters make the tale work because each has their own skills and flaws, which in conjunction with the others, make them real and their traumatic predicament plausible. Fans will feel they are in Ohio wondering what the atomic weight of secrets is.” —Midwest Book Review

“At first, I was a bit irritated by the amount of backstory time taken with each character, but I realized later on just how necessary it was. The Atomic Weight of Secrets is so original, and is such a unique story, that I can think of nothing to compare it to—nothing. It's the first of a trilogy, and I believe book 2 is going to be quite an adventure. The main characters felt so comfortable and familiar by the end of the story, that I think I'm going to miss them. I recommend this book, especially for its unusual and original storyline.”—Shannon O’Donnell, High School English Teacher, Montana School District Writing specialist and Trainer, and book Blogger (Book Dreaming)

“If you have young children, say between second and fifth grade, I highly recommend this novel (for them, or for you to read to them). There are some great themes brought to light, such as the importance of friendship, perseverance, and trust. The descriptions of the men in black will have young readers laughing and yearning for more, as will the dialogue between the characters. And I believe children will be captivated by the mysteries in the novel.”—Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

“This novel grew on me with each chapter, with each new discovery, and with each freaky plot twist. At first, I didn't realize this was the first in a series, so I was a bit curious how everything was going to wrap up. Surprisingly, we do get a solid amount of resolution to tie up some loose ends while the ‘larger questions’ wait to be explored in the next book. This was clever and creative, and stretched the imagination. I loved the individuality of each character. Jasper the leader, Lucy the observing and unabashedly caring youngest, Faye the spoiled beauty, Wallace the square-peg-in-the-round-hole, and Noah the funny man. Through flashback chapters, we slowly learn about each of their pasts and their arrival to the Sole Manor House as well as their familial history. Through these back stories, we gain insight into their characters that compliment their roles in the escape plan.  Coming together isn't easy for these kids, but they know it's crucial to work as a team if they’re to have any hope of finding their parents again. I appreciated the dualism that drove this book. With the dual title being the most obvious example, each chapter has a primary and secondary title. For example: "The Soprano's Son or Noah Shares Someone Fit for a King." See! how cool is that?  Mostly, I appreciated the dualism with the kids. Obviously being brilliant gives them a capacity to grasp complex concepts and problem solve like the most clever of adults, but being children means that they still have the needs, wants, and desires of kids. They spend hours in the lab creating compounds and designing engineering wonders, but they still want the hugs and kisses of a mother with a bedtime story. The complexity of their characters made connecting with this read a breeze. In a way, the book reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia (which is a HUGE compliment) in the intricate child characters dealing with problems that are so big and so overwhelming in an absolutely realistic and emotional way.”—Lisa the Nerd

"An elegantly crafted quest begins; the inscrutably phantasmagorical men in black are at once frightening, comical, and enticing to this band of brilliant and bewildered young seekers."—Ned Oldham, songwriter and singer, Old Calf

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