[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a very small percentage of the sale at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.]
Publication Date: January 9th 2018
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Genres: Middle Grade
Part of Series? Yes (The Crimson Five #1)
Goodreads Blurb: It’s the year 2071 and eleven year-old Kia Krumpet is determined to build her 67 inventions, but she won’t have the opportunity to unless she earns a spot at PIPS, the Piedmont Inventor’s Prep School. Kia, who has trouble making friends at school, has dreamed of winning the Piedmont Challenge and attending PIPS ever since she learned that her Grandma Kitty won the very first Piedmont Challenge. After she and four of her classmates are selected to compete for a spot at PIPS, they travel by aero-bus to Camp Piedmont to solve a task against forty-nine other state teams to earn their place at the best inventor’s school in the country.
Do you love it when you discover a great read that you haven’t expected in the first place? As much as I hate NetGalley (because of conspiring my death under the pile of unread ARCs 😛 ), I love it for giving me such gems from time to time. Spin the Golden Light Bulb is a debut novel of Jackie Yeager and what an exceptional middle-grade novel it is! I was involved in the story from the first page itself.
The Crimson Five
From the blurb, you can get that the story is set in the year 2071. This is the year when people travel by aero-car and the students are not called by their name but the number at their school. This is a story about Kia Krumpet, number 718, and her journey for chasing her dream to enter in Piedmont Inventors Prep School (PIPS) – her dream school. She studies in Crimson Elementary school where no one has ever won the Piedmont challenge. But Kia wants to win that because her grandmother Kitty was the first-ever person to win that challenge. Her grandmother was her role model from her childhood and Kia wanted to be everything like her. Kia manages to secure a place in the team to compete in the Piedmont challenge. At first, she had travel connecting with her group members but slowly they form a good friendship and move forward towards achieving their common goal.
Kia’s team is called The Crimson Five (hence the series name) because her team was the only one to have all the members from the same school. Each of them has different traits. Jax is the calm one with always a computer with him trying to research about making apps. Marianna(Mare) and Jillian are the talented girls but Marianna is the one with almost foul mood. Ander is the naughty one and later becomes Kia’s best friend.
Be Curious. Be Creative. Be Collaborative. Be Colourful. Be Courageous.
This was their team slogan given by their preceptor (assistant) Seraphina. They had another preceptor Gregor who always remains silent and was strict with the kids. The Crimson Five face many challenges to remain in the competition.
I liked how Jackie Yeager has curated the team of children, each with different hobby and passions. Though the common goal of each of them is same, they want to achieve it differently.
Be Curious. Be Creative. Be Collaborative. Be Colourful. Be Courageous. #SpinTheGoldenLightBulb by Jackie Yeager
Great things to learn
There were many good things for middle-grade students to learn from this book. Jackie Yeager has thrown many useful information here and there. There is a sentence when Kia is talking about pi and then she is talking about how petroleum should be saved. I think, mentioning such things were really innovative.
Kia has been shown as a determined and strong girl which gives inspiration to children to be more like her and try to achieve their dreams. Children need to know that being smart and intelligent is actually a necessity in today’s world. While most of the parents force their children to be good in academics, being creative is also important. It is okay to have any passion and to follow that passion.
Jackie Yeager has also told the value of friendship and teamwork through her characters. If you have good friends you can achieve any thing you thrive for and if you have a good team, no matter how bad the condition is, you will make something out of it. These are the real important traits that children these days should definitely learn.
At certain moment, Kia is loosing her confidence in herself. This tells you that it is okay to have these kind of moments too. But you have to fight back and have to emerge as even stronger.
Great imagination and everything engaging
I loved the imagination that Jackie Yeager has put into the whole story. And the cherry on top is that the imagination is in fair amount. You won’t feel as if it has been over done. There were magical things like aerocars, robotic monkey, sparkling rooms to eliminate negativity, floating gameboard, hidden cameras and many more. None of these felt over the top and perfectly fit the story. I would really like to applaud the author for all this creativity and to thrive children to actually think about such amazing things.
My favourite game was Nacho Cheese Ball 😀 Initialy I thought that maybe it is some already exhisiting game and I don’t know about it. But no, this was something created by the author but it will make you hungry and certainly you would want to play that too 😀
The writing style of the author is very fluid. You would easily get accustomed to the world that Jackie has created and you would want to read it without a break. It is a page turner and with each page, you feel so many emotions for Kia and her friends as they face challenges, betrayal, and arguments. You will be so invested in their journey that you would just want to know the final results. All the characters were interesting and you can easily relate to them.
In the beginning of each chapter there are different illustrations. I really liked those illustrations. Though not all the illustrations were unique, but they beautifully captures the essence of each chapter in the book.
Lack of 2071 era description
Well, this was my only complaint from this book. Though the story was set in 2071, the world building was not appropriate. There were just a few mentions of that era like aerocars and students being called by numbers. Other than those I was not able to find any particular reference to that ers. Though truth to be told, this point also hadn’t botheres me so much because I was too much engrossed in the story. But this was an important point to raise 🙂
I am nearly 30, still I loved this middle-grade book so much. In my opinion, this is a must read for all the middle-grade children. I was amazed by the book’s inventiveness and that too in the right amount. I loved the central message that the author is trying to portray- With friendship and teamwork, you can win any day. At first, I was not ware that this is actually going to be a series. Now that I know, I can’t wait to read the sequel and to follow the Crimson Five on their next adventures.
A must read for middle-grade children, with right amount of creativity and a central message- with friendship and teamwork you can win any day. #SpinTheGoldenLightBulb by Jackie Yeager
** Thank you Amberjack Publishing for giving me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Buying this book from here would support this blog.
Have you read this book or planning to read?
Do you like to read middle-grade from time to time?