Friday, April 10, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator by Michael Scott Clifton


Genres: MG-YA / Action & Adventure / Men's & Boys'
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Number of Pages: 282 pages

Twelve-year-old Edison Jones is a prodigy with a passion for technology and inventions. Paralyzed from the waist down since the age of five, he hasn’t let his disability slow him down. Then his world changes overnight when his grandfather, a billionaire tech company owner, decides to enroll him in a public school. Algorithms, quantum physics, and digital engineering are easy. Finding his way in the bewildering world of boys and girls his own age is quite another thing . . . the biggest challenge of his life.

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If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know I have a thing for middle grade fiction. There's something so refreshing that I just love. When the chance to read Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator arose, I couldn't say no. The synopsis sucked me right in, and I figured I'd be in for a great adventure. I wasn't wrong.

Edison Jones is a 12 year old seventh grader. After a car accident (that really wasn't an accident) left him paralyzed from the waist down and killed his parents, he's been living a very sheltered life with his grandpa. Edison isn't like most 12 year olds though. He's highly intelligent and has come up with a way to invent a anti-gravity space elevator. He's just go to prove to NASA that it works. Oh, and he's also being enrolled into the local public junior high school for the first time which also presents problems of its own. Edison will have to prove his space elevator has what it takes while also navigating the new realm of school and friendship if he's going to make his dreams come true.

The plot for Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator definitely was an interesting one for sure. While there are similar books out there, Michael Scott Clifton really made his book stand out. I liked how the main character had a disability which made it harder for him when it came to everything. It's refreshing to see a main character that's different from the mainstream. There is a bunch of science speak and terminology which can be a little overwhelming for the average person, but eventually, you get used to it. Plus, you don't need to know all of the terminology to enjoy this book. Context clues are also available to help make the terminology a bit more understandable. Descriptive scenes abound throughout this novel which makes it very easy to get lost in this book. In fact, many times I forgot where I was because I was so focused on this novel. The anticipation that Clifton sets up for major events throughout Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator is done brilliantly. I was definitely holding my breath and turning the page quickly to find out what would happen next especially when it came to scenes with the Breakstone twins, the robotics competition, the last junior high football game, and the launching of Edison's space elevator! The build up in those scenes was amazing! The ending does leave the possibility of another Edison Jones story being released in the future.

One thing that did irk me quite a bit was the stereotype that all of those who live in mobile homes are trashy. I felt like the author played into that a bit too much during one chapter. Here's one example which can be found at the end of chapter 26 when discussing Markie Franks who is a bully and Hondo's house (Hondo, Edison's friend, comes from a home where his mom chooses her boyfriend over him, and the boyfriend and Hondo don't get along.): "Markie's house surprised Edison. Although more modest than Bree's, it was also a brick home with an immaculate yard and appearance. He wasn't sure what he expected--maybe a mobile home with rusting cars on blocks in the yard--not the tidy home the bully lived in. Hondo...did live in a mobile home complete with a yard full of foot-high weeds. The only light came from the blue flicker of a TV through a grimy window next to the front door. With a grimace, Hondo got out and waved, his shoes pushing a path through the brown weeds and grass." It's stereotypes like this that make those who live in mobile homes easy targets for bullying as well as making those that live in mobile homes feel horrible about their life. It really shouldn't have been discussed like this at all. Not everyone who lives in a mobile home is trailer trash which is what I felt this book was implying.

I did feel like all the characters in Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator were very fleshed out and realistic. Edison is extremely intelligent when it comes to science, but he struggles with fitting in as he's been sheltered his whole life. Even though Edison isn't your average 12 year old when it comes to smarts, it was refreshing to see just how average he was when it came to navigating friendships and romance. I loved reading about Edison's thought process when it came to his crush on Carly as well as his friendship between Bree, Hondo, and Carly. I liked how Edison, for the most part, wouldn't give that bully, Markie Franks, the satisfaction of knowing that he bothered him. I admired Hondo after all he had been through. Throughout most of the book, I was trying to figure out if Hondo was a genuine person or if he would end up double crossing Edison. Bree and Carly were great friends to Edison, and it was obvious how much they admired Edison. I liked how they would stand up for him. The Breakstone Twins were also very interesting. I can't wait to see more of them in future books (if the author chooses to make this a series). I liked how cunning and calculated they both were.

Trigger warnings for Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator include some profanity, name calling including using the word "pussy", some stereotyping, some violence, bullying, attempted murder, murder, a mention of drugs (being stoned), some underage smoking, and a mention of beer.

All in all, Edison Jones and The Anti-GRAV Elevator is a fantastic story that straps you in for a very exciting adventure throughout its pages. The plot is fantastic, the characters are diverse, and the action abounds. I would definitely recommend Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator by Michael Scott Clifton to those aged 13+ who seek adventure in their life. This would appeal mostly to those interested in science, but I think everyone who enjoys a solid story would like it.
(A special thank you to Lone Star Literary Life for the tour and to Michael Scott Clifton for sending me a paperback of Edison Jones and The ANTI-GRAV Elevator in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.)

Multi award-winning author Michael Scott Clifton, a public educator for over 38 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator, currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Texas, with his wife, Melanie, and family cat. An avid gardener, reader, and movie junkie, he enjoys all kinds of book and movie genres. His books contain aspects of all the genres he enjoys: action, adventure, magic, fantasy, and romance. His fantasy novels, The Janus Witch and The Open Portal, received 5-Star reviews from the prestigious Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, and he has been a finalist in a number of short story contests, with Edges of Gray winning First Place in the Texas Authors Contest. Professional credits include articles published in the Texas Study of Secondary Education Magazine. Clifton’s latest book, The Open Portal, won a Feathered Quill Book Finalist Award, and launched the fantasy book series, Conquest of the Veil. 

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1st Prize:

Signed Paperback Copy of Edison Jones + $15 Amazon Gift Card + bookmark
2nd & 3rd Prizes:
eBook Copies of Edison Jones

APRIL 9-19, 2020
(Print copy U.S. Only)
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  1. Great review! I like that even for kids who aren't science-y, there are enough context clues that a reader won't feel overwhelmed. And thanks for the trigger warnings, too. ALWAYS good to know ahead of time.

  2. A terrific review. It certainly intrigued me enough to want to check out the book.

  3. I liked the synopsis and review. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  4. fabulous review. i agree about the trailer parks. my father used to live in one after he retired and my brother has a really nice one in a great park.
    sherry @ fundinmental