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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
Reading Irma the Inventor & the Vampire Spiders could be the most fun you have all year! Although she is only in sixth grade, Irma is a science whiz. The problem is, she is so smart and involved in her experiments that she doesn’t relate well with other kids. In Irma the Inventor & the Vampire Spiders by Megan E Cassidy, you get to follow Irma as she scares the class and teacher with her science presentation about germs. Mechanical spiders represent germs and take over the classroom! Of course, no one is listening to Irma’s explanation because they don’t understand it and they flee the room, scared for their lives.
This incident is only one in a string of mishaps that have made Irma very unpopular, especially with the most popular girl in class who happens to be struggling with her grades. Kate goes out of her way to put Irma down, but another girl steps up to defend Irma and they become great friends. Irma and Dilly work together to create a winning project for the science fair, but Kate manages to take the credit until an accident happens and Kate can’t solve it. When Irma and Dilly save the day, the project receives a lot of attention – even from the Department of Defense in Washington, DC. What will this new invention mean for Irma and Dilly as they are invited to Washington to explain it?
Fun is the best word to describe Irma the Inventor & the Vampire Spiders. Megan E Cassidy has incorporated a tremendous amount of scientific facts and humor into this story, but also captures the emotional struggles common to any middle school student. Kate is the perfect “bad guy” to contrast with Irma and Dilly’s innocence and differences, and Cassidy works the situation out beautifully. Full of excitement, interesting information and amazing scientific experiments, Irma the Inventor & the Vampire Spiders is the ideal story to show girls that STEM subjects are cool and that there is no reason to avoid getting involved or hiding your abilities. The bottom line for all the characters is that it is all about balance in their lives. Well done and quite entertaining. I can't wait to see what happens in Washington!