Thursday, September 3, 2015

Review: Oscar and the Amazing Gravity Repellent by Tina L. Peterson

Oscar Schmidt is a klutz and gravity is his nemesis - it pulls him down, trips him up, and helps the neighborhood bullies make his life all-around awful. But when Oscar finds an abandoned train caboose one day after school, everything changes. Inside, he discovers a magical potion: Dr. Oopsie's Amazing Gravity Repellent. Along with his best friend, Asha, Oscar learns what happens when he defies the laws of nature. But when the caboose comes under attack from a group of bullies, Oscar's reaction puts his worst enemy in serious danger. Oscar must face the consequences of his actions, figure out right from wrong, and learn how to stand up for himself. A heartwarming mix of sweet humor and whimsical fantasy, young readers will immediately fall in love with Oscar's tale and easily relate to the real-life issues at the story's core.
For ages 8-10.
*A heartwarming mix of whimsical fantasy and real-life issues*Deals with bullying in a thoughtful and realistic way*Fun and sweet humor that young readers will love

I found the premise quite intriguing so I thought I'd give this book a try.

In Oscar and the Amazing Gravity Repellent, Oscar is a klutzy child who stumbles upon an abandoned caboose. Together with his friend Asha, they discover a gravity repellent inside the caboose and find that it actually works. Oscar is thrilled because he thinks this may help cure his clumsiness. However, someone else discovers the caboose and Oscar tries to do something about it. He goes too far, though. Is there a way for him to fix what he did and still keep the caboose's secrets safe?

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought it would. I mean, I did enjoy the elements that I thought I would like, such as the gravity repellent, and it was nice that Oscar was able to stand up to the bully and get him to back off. I also liked that it showed that some things don't require a magical solution or outside intervention to work out eventually.

So what was it exactly that I didn't like? I think it was mostly Oscar. I felt sorry for him because he was klutzy and he was bullied. However, there was something about him, which I can't quite put my finger on, that didn't sit well with me. He didn't have a lot of common sense but that's not it really. I think it came to a head for me when he did that thing to the bully. It didn't play out as awful as I thought it would, which was good, and they were able to resolve their differences, but the way it unfolded and was described bothered me a little bit. I'm not sure why, though.

Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone Young Readers for the e-ARC.


  1. It can give hope to clumsy kids.
  2. It can teach kids that there are good ways and bad ways to handle bullies.
  3. The gravity repellent sounds cool.


  1. Oscar might not be everyone's cup of tea.


  1. Your child hates being clumsy.
  2. Your child is being bullied.
  3. Your child likes fantasy books.



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