Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines (Rube Goldberg #1)

by Brandon T Snider (Author) Ed Steckley (Illustrator)

Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines (Rube Goldberg #1)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: Rube Goldberg

The hilarious first book in an all-new illustrated middle-grade series starring young inventor Rube Goldberg

On the first day of middle school, Principal Kim announces that the school is going to throw a Contraption Convention--the perfect opportunity for young inventor Rube Goldberg to show off his inventions and get out of his summer-long funk!

But after a fight with his friends Pearl and Boob about where his priorities really lie, Rube's Con Con entry gets off to a rocky start--and then strange incidents begin to throw the town into disarray. Boob is convinced it's a ghost causing all of this chaos. Between Con Con, the ghostly mystery, and a new rival, Rube has his work cut out for him. But with the help of his friends, he might just get things back on track, get on top of his burgeoning anxieties, and come up with something brilliant before it's time to face the judging table.

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School Library Journal

Gr 4-6--In a new series based on a fictionalized version of the infamous inventor, Rube Goldberg loves to create contraptions. With his dad working out of town all the time, his mom deceased, and his grandmother dropping off the occasional casserole, Rube is able to spend his days and nights working on projects. After a summer of isolated machine building, Rube starts sixth grade at Beechwood Middle School. When the principal of Beechwood announces the school's Con-Con, or Contraption Convention, Rube withdraws even more from his old friends Boob (yes, Boob McNutt) and Pearl Williams. Rube's new and unlikely friend, Zach, drives a wedge further between Rube, Boob, and Pearl, as Rube elects to spend time working on inventions with Zach to prepare for Con-Con. Suspicions mount, strange things happen, and friends say all the wrong things as the competition draws nearer. With the exception of the curse of a haunted doll found in the woods, a few supernatural disturbances at the school, and an international criminal disguised as the new science teacher, Rube's induction into the middle school experience will be highly relatable to kids making this transition. Lively cartoon illustrations convey the spirit of the characters, while italicized passages convey Rube's thoughts. Rube and Boob are cued as white, and Pearl is Black. VERDICT With middle school humor and entertaining images, Rube learns to navigate strange and difficult situations in this first installment of the "Rube Goldberg" series.--Lindsay Persohn, Univ. of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Snider accurately conveys feelings of change and growth at a time when tweens are truly still children . . . Steckley's black-and-white illustrations evoke the cluttered, mad-scientist feel of Rube's workspace. . ." —Kirkus Reviews
Brandon T Snider
Brandon T. Snider is the best-selling author of the award-winning Dark Knight Manual, as well as the Avengers: Infinity War: The Cosmic Quest series. Additionally, he has written books featuring Cartoon Network favorites like Adventure Time and Regular Show, Marvel's Spider-Man and Black Panther, plus pop culture icons such as Justice League, Star Wars, and The Muppets. He lives in New York City, where he is a member of the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA. Jennifer George is president of the Rube Goldberg Institute for Innovation and Creativity. George is Rube Goldberg's granddaughter and lives and works in New York City.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Amulet Books
Publication date
November 20, 2021
Rube Goldberg
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV036020 - Juvenile Fiction | Technology | Inventions
Library of Congress categories
Mystery and detective stories
JUVENILE FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stor
Middle schools
Goldberg, Rube
JUVENILE FICTION / Technology / General

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