The Extraordinary eTab of Julian Newcomber

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

The Extraordinary eTab of Julian Newcomber is a fun and funny middle grade book with lots of laughs and misadventures.
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This is a fun middle grade book told by Julian about actions and events that happen to him and his future self. It sounds great. Yet, it was slow to start and felt like a lesson or something Julian was not likable at first doesn't seem his age, but then opened up and became more enjoyable. Sometimes it felt like he was teaching lessons. Good humor for the age it is a fun story once it gets going. This is also a nice shorter chapter book. It is mostly for middle grade but some older elementary might like it too.
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I am afraid I have spent months catching up with published books and now I am behind with Netgalley reviews.  However, I loved the humour in this book.  It did not grate on me the way some humour for this age group does.  The adventure itself was good, fast moving with wonderful inventions reminding me of a modern day Professor Brawnstaum.  . Whose author was I believe Norman Hunter.  

The relationship between the two Julian's was super.  With both having similar characteristics but developed separetly and so subtly different.  

I hope there are other books to be written, perhaps with the two travelling together some time.

I will not be buying this for the Library but I do have someone to give it to as a gift.  I think it will appeal to 8 - 11 year olds.
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The Extraordinary Etab of Julian Newcomber is a middle grade Sci-fi novel about Julian who has an inventor for a father. His father invents for him the Etab, which by accident allows Julian to time travel. The plot is fun, the characters are quirky and the resolution is funny but satisfying. 

At the beginning, I wasn't completely sold with Julian's character, because he speaks/sounds much older than his actual age, and he is quite snarky at the beginning. Another thing that bothered me is the repetitive use of "what the smart folks call" each time the author is about to use a word that is new for the target audience. However, both of the things I just complained about, grew into me and I started liking them. Julian's character and the other characters are meant to feel graphic, and this does come off the page, and "what the smart folks call" became funny. 

Julian reminds me a lot with Artemis Fowl, but without the evil bit, which could explain why it took me a while to like the character (because I happen to not like Artemis). Julian's mother reminded me with Grace from the Umbrella Academy. I am still not sure if Julian's mother is real or one of his father's invention, because she could very well be. 

The story is simple. Future Julian is stuck in the past, which is our present and he needs to go back in time. This created for a really interesting dynamic and a funny story. I love how to author only made present Julian listen to the emotional advice future Julian had to offer, and ignored the monetary ones. The author focused on building Julian's confidence and making him grow to be comfortable in his new environment (the city his family moved to). His character development is sweet. 

Overall, it is a fun quick read and I do recommend this book for middle grade children. (4/5) stars.
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Science and fun hit quirky humour as a boy, Julian, taps into time travel with unexpected twists and adventure.

Julian is twelve-years-old and pretty normal for a kid. That is if his dad wasn't a genius but mad inventor and his family weren't constantly moving around. Julian always changes schools and has not only trouble with bullies but also finding friends. Still, none of this is a real problem. When his father invents the eTab, it has an unexpected side-effect. Soon, Julian finds himself leaping back and forth through time. When his older self appears and insists that Julian has affected the timeline and must bring everything back into sync, Julian's life really turns into an adventure.

The book is told in narrative form by Julian. The first couple of chapters give the reader time to sink into his life and world, one which sets the perfect tone. His mother is grounded and keeps life organized, while his father swings in a completely opposite direction as a crazy scientist. The fantasy aspect is clear from the get-go and allows the science to sweep into more fantastical directions. Its action and adventure with a huge dose of humour and fun.
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Julian's father is an inventor, who comes up with strange contraptions. One of his latest inventions is an eTab that lets Julian time travel. Julian has quite the quick wit and handles difficult situations be using his brain to outmaneuver trouble makers. The life lessons are real. 
The Extraordinary eTab reminded me of the movie Big which was enjoyable.

I want to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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This book was, for me, so much fun to read and it had an extremely fascinating plot for a middle-grade novel. Although I am not, I am sure, the intended audience for this book, nevertheless, it was a fabulous, quite complex work of science fiction. I loved the quirky, witty and hugely amusing dialogue and as a complete package, the book made me smile.

Very highly recommended and a well deserved five stars!

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from the publisher via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Julian meets his future self, who asks for his help and eTab to time travel to the Civil War and then back home so as not to get into any trouble with his parents.
Weird? Yes, but cool weird.

Julian's father is an inventor, who comes up with strange contraptions. One of his latest inventions is an eTab that lets Julian time travel. 

Long story short, I liked the interaction between father and son, and between the two Julians. The writing was good, there was an emphasis on synonyms, which offers another layer to the take-home of the book.
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This review was written by my 11-year-old son:

Julian Newcomber has moved yet again because of his dad's crazy inventions. He now needs to learn to fit in again at a new school. But then when his 20-year-old self comes back from the future they must find the power source to his eTab (the invention 12-year-old Julian,s dad is working on) so he can go back to his time and they won't be left to fight over the top bunk forever.

I liked this book once things got explained (chapter 4) and I knew what was happening. I think it is a good book to read if you like shorter chapter books and have the stamina to wait for the backstory. I liked that his dad's inventions were wacky and either exploded or worked.

I give this book a 4-star rating. I think that it was an interesting book but was not my favorite. I might read this again.
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Super cute story! I found this to be enjoyable and a quick read. I really liked how Julian and his dad talk, using synonyms for words which I believe will help the intended audience with vocabulary words. There were also a few good quotes that I feel are good life lessons for children. I would definitely have my daughter read this book!
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The Extraordinary eTab of Julian Newcomber
  The Extraordinary eTab of Julian Newcomber by Michael Seese is an enjoyable read from middle-grade students. Mr. Seese tried to make the narrative comical and used cunning ways to increase the reader's vocabulary. The narrative is entertaining and may keep the reader's attention. The story elements are defined. Julian's issues are realistic because of his family's constant relocations. Readers who have moved during a school year will relate to the adjustments of being the new kid in a community and school. Julian has quite the quick wit and handles difficult situations be using his brain to outmaneuver trouble makers. The life lessons are real. 
The Extraordinary eTab reminded me of the movie Big which was enjoyable.
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A fast paced, clever and intriguing middle grade hidden gem that will captivate audiences both young and old. A fairy tale for the modern age.
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This book has a lot of potential and a distinct tone of voice.  When Julian's 20 year old self bursts into the scene, he has a lot of explaining to do.  Such as what happened in the future?  The past?  And how is time travel even possible, anyway?  Filled with sly puns and quick beats of humor, this is sure to entertain the middle grade child interested in humor, science, wacky problems, and even wackier solutions.
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My name is Julian, and my father creates semi-successful inventions, if they don't blow up first. He gave me a cool one called the eTab. It looks like a black piece of paper, but it can email, make phone calls, and browse the Internet. However, I figured out that it can also let me travel through time. I was trying to figure out the best way to use it when my future self showed up! I guess he (or is it I?) dropped a cellphone during the Battle of Gettysburg, and now he/I need help going back to that time. Future-me's eTab doesn't have enough power to complete the trip, and I don't know how to charge it without telling my dad. My future self will be stuck here if we don't figure out something by tomorrow.

I received an advance copy of the book from NetGalley. It offered an unexpected twist to the plot due to my expectations from other novels involving time travel. I figured the cellphone would be the major conflict, and it kind of was, but the real problem was trying to find a way to charge Future-Julian's eTab. The answer to that issue was strange but fit the tone for the rest of the book. The author created humor using science and language. Julian's father had inventions for all kinds of weird uses (a cream used to stop floors from creaking), and explosions were a definite possibility. Julian was always the new kid in school, since home destruction caused the family to frequently move. His dad tended to translate things he said to Julian, and Future-Julian kept trying to tell Young-Julian about future events. His motives seemed pure, but Young-Julian worried about disturbing the time continuum. The author included the typical school bully to torment Julian, but he was inadvertently helpful in resolving the big conflict. Overall, the book was fun to read, and I recommend you give it a shot. Although the characters were older middle school students, younger readers can easily enjoy it too.
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Fine middle grade read, especially for fans of light sci-fi and shenanigans. Do wish it had a bit less of the "smart folks" vocab lessons - maybe if it had led to something it would have been a different story, but as it was, it mostly came off as grating after a while - but a thoroughly satisfactory read.
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*3.5 Stars

What is it with me just reading and cutest books right now?

Truth be told, I was kind of bored at the beginning, and I didn’t really feel like I was getting anywhere — to the point of considering DNFing it. 

I’m so, so glad I didn’t.

It was so cute and whimsical and I loved the writing style and just — wow I really enjoyed it.

Definitely recommend for fans of Adrienne Kress’s THE EXPLOERERSseries.

Will I buy it in June when it gets released? Yes.
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A book for middle grade kids. 9-12’s I believe. As an adult reading it and reflecting on the amazing story I think it would be enjoyed by older teenagers as well.
The book is about a young Julian Newcomber, a child who has reached the age 12 with few friends and accomplishments as his family have moved about quite a lot. In the process he has never been anywhere long enough to make and keep friends.
His Dad is a crazy inventor and his Mum is everything his Dad is not. Strict over meal times, eating one’s veggies and general table manners. 
School is a minefield for Julian the new boy. The target of bullies and increasingly more isolating as he struggles to develop interpersonal skills and forge meaningful social interactions.
We meet Julian on a typical day able to escape his nemesis by his Dad’s latest invention and acting as narrator telling us how his life changed for ever.
The premise is that his future self returns to his room to enlist his help to ensure older Julian has not corrupted the time line and changed history.
This is a fun account of childhood and the processes of growing up. Younger and Older Julian slowly come to terms with this bizarre situation and learn to co-operate. I liked the humour Julian is given and uses with his other self and in a self deprecating way.
Dad is a larger than life character and the mad inventor is a common fictional character but the author has new angles to ratchet up the chaos he causes and the silly names he gives his inventions.
He is also the wisest sage in his chat about fatherhood in his Dad to Son moment.
There is tension because the help Julian needs to offer is time critical and in his 12 year old world not everything is straightforward.
The story is very educational in the sharing of words as a running theme is to use synonyms where possible to give more meaning to sentences. I loved the plug for reading and the value of books.
Finally I enjoyed the whole time-travelling conundrum about loops, polluting the future and changing history. Young Julian puts his fingers in his ears about events in the future; but in terms of relationships and gaining respect in the present he is all ears. This rings true for a 12 year old wanting to get to 13 and remain cool even where girls are involved. Only good things to say in this clever and genuinely witty pre-teen read.
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"One of the most Funtresting plots I've ever come across in a Middle-Grade novel" 

This book absolutely quashed all kinds of presumptions that I had before reading it. What I thought would be routine just-another-simple-middle-grade-novel turned out to be one of the most complex science fiction novels. 

Julian Newcomber, the son of the eccentric parents -Mr and Mrs.Newcomber was leading a normal life - what the smart folks call "an average life" until he got his hands on his father's latest invention - The Etab. A hand-held device which Julian later found that, could be used to time travel. Curiosity gets the better of him and he starts to experiment with the idea of traveling back and forth in time. 

But the plot takes a bumpy ride when Julian finds himself standing face to face with the Grown-up version of him from the future. Apparently, the Grown-up Julian had lost his cell phone while witnessing the Civil War fold out in front of his eyes. So with the help of Julian, he intends to go back in time to the Civil War era and warn the future version of himself not to lose the cell phone. 

The pace of the plot quickens when Grown-up Julian's Etab 2.0 runs out of battery. If both the Julians don't resolve the charging issue, the grown-up Julian would forever be trapped in present-Julian's world. 

Did I leave you scratching your head in confusion? 

Hehe! The book left me the same way as well. But in this case, the confusion was rather entertaining and fun. 

I felt that the concept was interesting - A little boy meeting the grown-up version of himself. The events that followed after their impromptu meeting were funny and the kind conversations they had evoked a great deal of laughter. The eccentric element of his parents was a great touch by the author and it worked out perfectly. Through their witty, funny, quirky dialogues, Mr and Mrs.Newcomber never failed to make me smile. I wish Julian's younger siblings - Olivia and Dylan had more scope in the plot. Though they appeared for a brief period, they made a decent mark.
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