Spin The Golden Light Bulb is a fun, future-set story that reads as a middle-grade/early teen book; it tells the story of Kia Krumpet, her journey into the Piedmont Inventor’s Prep School & through the first round of the Piedmont Challenge. STGLB isn’t perfect, but it is funny & original, & projects important messages of being curious, creative, collaborative, colourful & courageous upon it’s reader. This is a greatly inspiring book for young children, & I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
I have mixed opinions on this book; in some ways I really enjoyed it – it was different, fun & creative, but at times it also felt a little flat & I didn’t feel that all of the inventions that were hyped up by the characters were really that impressive. I never write reviews in this way, but I think it might be the best way for me to present this review because my opinions are so varied…
- The plot was laid out very clearly & quickly at the start of the book; this meant that I knew exactly what the general gist of the story was going to be & I very quickly learnt the ambitions of main character Kia. The reason I think this is good is because this is labelled as a middle-grade book & revealing details like this at the start of the book could definitely help to capture the attention of young children.
- In my opinion more than one of the characters, including the main character, appeared to be autistic; this wasn’t a detail that was explicitly stated but as someone who has worked with autistic children I definitely felt that a few of the characters definitely exhibited some autistic traits. There are two reasons why I see this as a good thing; the first is of course diversity, & the second is because it means that the whole message of the book surrounds the fact that the really gifted & talented children can be different.
- Some of the inventions were pretty impressive; for example, air purifying beads that float in the air & look glitter, a flower that blooms into a serving platter, alternating bunk-beds & a machine that helps Deaf people to understand the sounds going on around them through visual prompts (that’s an awful explanation but I don’t want to spoil anything). Plus, the way that Kia’s team solve the task at the Piedmont Inventor’s Prep School ends up being really interesting & fun.
- Something else that was good about this book was that I didn’t at all predict the plot twist; & it ended up being quite an interesting twist. Toward the end of the book a big secret is revealed & I for one did not see it coming at all. Good job Jackie.
- The world-building was actually really good! I liked this version of the future & the way the education system is run is actually really interesting; for this reason I will definitely be reading the sequel (I’m assuming there will be one). I also loved how, in this version of our future, the focus is on children & what they can do to improve the world; unfortunately the children that are focused on are only a small handful of the population, with the rest of the children being categorised into different education sectors at a very young age (although, this did actually make the plot seem more realistic).
- It encourages children to be creative & confident; this book is built on children having amazing ideas & believing that they can change the world. Kia is determined to create so many amazing, & in some cases silly, inventions & her determination could definitely inspire young children to do everything they can to achieve their dreams… because that’s what happens for Kia, her dream comes true.
- Very soon into the read the story felt a little flat; this resulted in me not feeling overly excited about reading the book, despite how interesting the plot originally seemed to be. Although this started to fix itself later on in the book, there were chapters throughout the book that were dull, & I hate to say it, a little pointless too.
- The book definitely could have been shorter – when reflecting on the read I realised that not much actually happened, considering that the book is just under 300 pages long. As I said above, some of the chapters became a bit boring & it definitely felt like, at times, the author was just trying to fill page space.
- The whole premise of this book is based upon amazing inventions & in all honestly, some of the inventions were somewhat lacking. I’ve mentioned some of the inventions I liked above, but generally the things that the characters were getting excited about weren’t that exciting. It actually became kind of annoying.
- Unfortunately, there wasn’t much character development for most of the story. Kia & her group at the Piedmont Inventor’s Prep School did start to get on better as they worked together more, which was mainly highlighted at the end of the book, but generally not much about them changed or developed.
So, as I said, I had mixed feelings about this book, but a lot of the criticisms I had probably wouldn’t be issues for children reading the book so I still think this is a great story for young readers. Plus, I think the reasons why I enjoyed the book would be amplified in small children. If you fancy getting yourself, or a little person in your life, a copy of this book you can do so using the links below! If you use the Amazon.co.uk or Book Depository link to make a purchase I will receive a small fee at no cost to you, so please consider doing so.
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