Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Island of Mad Scientists

The Island of Mad Scientists

Howard Whitehouse
Illustrator:  Bill Slavin 
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Kids Can Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1554532360

Emmaline and her friends Princess Purnah and Rab has just come home after defeating all kinds of evil doers and criminals in a wild adventure that involved (among other things) hot air balloons, disguises, bombs, and pterodactlys. Unfortunately, they cannot enjoy a little time at home to recover from their ordeal, because the British Government is sending someone to Aunt Lucy’s house to take Princess Purnah back to St. Grimelda’s School for Young Ladies – a fate that is almost worse than death.

Quickly Aunt Lucy makes arrangements for them to all go on a “holiday” to a distant place where they will not be known, and where they can stay until the search for Purnah dies down. Aunt Lucy plans to take everyone to Italy for a spell, but in the end the strange collection of people that make up her ‘family’ decide to go to an island in Scotland where a community of mad scientists live. It will be cold and inhospitable and therefore the perfect place to lie low for a while.

The trip north should be a simple one, but its turns into something of a mess. The group split ups to try to foil the authorities, but what they don’t know is that the authorities are not the only ones looking for them. A thoroughly evil person called the Collector is looking for Emmaline and Rab so that he can add them to his collection of inventors. While other people collect stamps or porcelain, the Collection actually collects people, and he plans on making Emmaline and Rab his newest acquisitions.

With wonderfully outlandish adventures, colorful characters, and laugh-out-loud funny tongue-in-cheek humor, this third book in the Emmaline and Rubberbones series is sure to please young readers.