THE UNUSUAL MIND OF VINCENT SHADOW by Tim Kehoe
Vincent is not a normal middle school boy. For one thing, he is completely obsessed with the inventor Nikola Tesla. For another, he is also periodically hit by brilliant visions of his own future inventions, visions which have similar effect to migraines, literally blinding him with pain. And he has a secret laboratory in his bedroom closet. His mom helped him build the lab before she died. She was the only one who unconditionally supported his artistic gift. Now he’s stuck in a house with his evil stepmother and three annoying stepsisters. As if that weren’t bad enough, his father decides to move the family from New York to Minneapolis for a new job. For Vincent, this means leaving his laboratory–and consequently, his inventions–behind. But when he finds out about a contest for young inventors, hosted by a toy company, he knows this is his one chance to prove himself to his family and the world–if his competitors don’t get in his way.
This book is a funny, quirky, and quick read. I definitely recommend it to upper elementary schoolers, especially boys.