We just finished reading this book, the third in the Cardboard Genius series, and we already miss Alex, Jonathon and Zoe, wishing we could go on just one more adventure or build one more amazing device. This beautifully written books, brimming with creative solutions to ordinary problems -- and all using tools found around the house (if not in the trash can) -- painted for my son a vision that anything is possible in ingenious and fun ways. Already a child who loves to invent, these books raised his sights even higher, challenging him to consider space travel, time travel, security, even instant and nutritious meals. I recommend these to any third-grader or above to read on their own and any parent with a wide-eyed inventive youngster you can read to.
If you fall into the latter group, though, I do want to note my only issue with the books (well, other than they eventually end). The way the main character Alex talks to and treats his younger brother Jonathon may be a candid portrayal of how some siblings deal with one another (and meant to be funny, I suspect) but not one I want my son to see or think it's OK to immitate. The name calling alone, for instance, included words we're not ready for or want to condone, especially by someone as otherwise inspiring as Alex. This third book is a little better than the previous two in this regard but by reading the books aloud, I could just skip the taunts. (When I read one of the lines by accident my son asked me, "Why does he talk to him that way? It's so mean.") Again, I realize this is a personal preference but I'd feel remiss for not mentioning it. As you can see by the rating, I still believe these are extraordinary books and look forward to more.