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Friday 16 October 2020

Review: The Institute of Fantastical Inventions: Magnetic Attraction

Although this is a sequel to the first book, readers can jump straight in with no experience of Book One and pick up the threads. Read our KBR review of Book One, The Institute of Fantastical Inventions 

Crazy scientist and inventor Leo McGuffin continues to dream-up weird and wonderful marvels at the Institute of Fantastical Inventions. 

With the help of his boy genius assistant, Edward, Leo sets out to solve their customer’s rather unique and crazy problems with even crazier solutions.

This is one for lovers of puns and mad contraptions. Leo’s most pressing problem is to help a chaotic family experience ‘harmony’, and the reader is taken on a journey about the scientific properties of music. How Leo applies this to helping the family get along is well...fantastical.

However, there is another problem looming that will affect the very viability of the institute iteself. A megalomaniac has taken over running the company’s functions and is hellbent on tying its hapless employees up with so much useless paperwork that nobody has any opportunity to actually solve any problems. And poor Leo is facing the sack. To complicate matters, boy genius Edward is so besotted with a new arrival, a girl genius, that his reasoning powers start to waver.

Overall, it’s a lot of silly fun and the reader can dip anywhere into the book to read about crazy problems and even crazier solutions. However, at one stage, Leo does plant surveillance equipment on his female colleague, and even though she rightly reprimands him for this gross breach of her privacy, I was uncomfortable with this as a plot device, particularly as it was unnecessary for the story.

Title: The Institute of Fantastical Inventions: Magnetic Attraction
Author: Dave Leys
Illustrator: Shane Ogilvie
Publisher: New Holland, $14.99  
Publication Date: 17 October 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760791346
For ages: 8 - 12
Type: Middle Grade Fiction