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Thursday, July 12, 2012

"The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow"

by Lorin Barber, YA, 2012, 293p, rating=5
Source: received paperback copy from author/publisher in exchange for an honest review

Copernicus H. Stringfellow, a.k.a. Nick, is far from your average, run-of-the-mill genius. His brains are really more like brawn now that he's learned to control things with his mind. From fending off would-be muggers to rescuing down-and-out travelers, there's no job too small for this superhero, especially after he learns that Twinkies by the caseload send his superpowers skyrocketing! But with powers so fantastic, he'll have to face more than a few enemies. Follow Nick on his amazing adventures in this thrilling and action-packed story With excitement, surprises, and lots of laugh-out-loud moments, this is one book that's sure to capture the attention of readers of all ages. (book cover)

Forget Nick!  Everyone should just call him by his full name, Copernicus H. Stringfellow.  What a fabulous name befitting an amazingly good man!  Simply, an adult Dr. Doogie Howser meets Jesus ..a sharp and humble philanthropist.  Now that's a superhero that I would swoon over!

Indulge me a little bit for I will expound on what I got out of this book.  Keep in mind that this wasn't a preachy read but I just so happened to have read it through a religious eyes.  See, between the lines of this quirky literary work was a message to take care of one another and that's what I love most about this read.  Copernicus H. Stringfellow's secret life aligned with the counsel we find in Matthew 6:3, But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. Copernicus H. Stringfellow didn't want fame or notoriety for his many accomplishments and special powers.  Instead, he used his skills and resources to help and uplift people in confidence.  This means not merely giving people money but providing them the gift of self reliance (they worked for it).  For example, Copernicus H. Stringfellow bought a run-down house so that he can hire a gardener, a decorator, a handyman, and so on; positions who he then gives to those who are down-and-out.  In other words, Copernicus H. Stringfellow's superhero powers was really not that he can move things with his mind, but that he can move people with his heart. That of course is the kind of hero we could use more of in this world ..according to the Book of Jinky.  :)

Religious eyes off, this read was funny, touching, and entertaining.  Yes, one might say that even with the heartwarming premise and twisty segments, it was too smooth.  I saw that.  Copernicus H. Stringfellow didn't really have much of a challenge.  Story wise, I was anticipating more conflict ..or better yet, that he didn't wiggle out of the conflicts that he was in so easily.  That's okay though.  The meat of the story made up for it.

Okay, I cannot review this book without saying something about Twinkies (American brand cake snack).  I'm such a gullible person and I tell ya, I wanted to eat Twinkies and see if it really would make me smarter!  Did my IQ just drop by admitting that? LOL.  On a serious note, I think the Twinkies added to the ambiance of the wonderful world of the peculiar that I believe that the author wanted to convey.

There's more!  Not only were there crimes being deflected but a little bit of romance and family dynamics was going on too.  I speak of course about the happenings leading up to the ending.  That's all I can say without giving away too much so be sure to have this book within your radar and pick it up.  There's so much to gain.

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