Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
107 Pages
Reviewed on 04/27/2024
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Author Biography

Ulric Alvin Watts is a librarian and cat-sitter, as well as a former film critic, videographer, stage actor, screen actor, news cameraman, and Elvis impersonator. He lives in the northeastern United States and enjoys books, movies, video games, and cartoons.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Incredible events are in store for Graeme Pendlebury, the protagonist of Realia, a sci-fi novella by Ulric Alvin Watts. He is a fifth-grader who is considered the smartest boy of his age by his schoolmates. His only dream is to study at MIT and become a physicist. One day, he and his classmates visit Boston and MIT, where a surprise awaits Graeme. During the tour, the young boy finds a mysterious pencil case with his name on it. Even more astonishing, the pencil case is filled with diamonds. Soon, Graeme will realize this is just the beginning of an adventure that will lead him to confront unimaginable adversaries.

Realia is a novella that lovers of science fiction will enjoy reading. It is extremely well written, and Ulric Alvin Watts's expertise is equal to his ability to inspire the reader to read further. Moreover, he presents subjects like technology and science in an understandable way. It is also easy to grasp for those who are not well versed in these areas. At the same time, Watts presents a young and intelligent protagonist. I really liked to see Graeme at work, and his thoughts were interesting to explore. However, the strong point of Realia is that Graeme's adventures help to point out the importance of the right to explore and experiment without limitations. The reference to this serious matter gives Realia a broader vision than it might appear at first. Therefore, I recommend this amazing book to readers who like stories that are both enjoyable and profound.

K.C. Finn

Realia is a work of fiction in the science fiction, fantasy, and coming of age sub-genres, and was penned by author Ulric Alvin Watts. The work is intended for the middle-grade reading audience and contains some mild pseudo-expletive language and fantasy violence. Our protagonist is Graeme Pendlebury, a would-be child genius with grand ideas for his future, who finds that the future isn’t all he expected when he finds a pencil case filled with diamonds and bearing his name. Things take stranger turns still for this eleven-year-old hero as Graeme learns that being a genius requires a lot more know-how than he had first imagined.

Author Ulric Alvin Watts has crafted an immersive and interesting work of fiction with plenty of twists, turns, and soft sci-fi fun to offer its readers. I feel this book would work especially well with reluctant readers in the middle-grade arena owing to its fast-moving action and not-overdone conceptual basis. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was its scene play and arrangement of the storyline, which fully situates readers into the moment and grips them to await the next twist. The dialogue was also very effective, serving to display the unique traits of the characters whilst moving the plot forward in a natural way. Graeme is also both realistic and likable despite his flaws, a hard balancing act in this genre indeed. Overall, I would highly recommend Realia to fans of adventurous MG sci-fi, appealing protagonists with credible flaws, and for technology enthusiasts everywhere.

Stefan Vucak

Graeme Pendlebury, eleven years old and a fifth-grader, is incredibly smart and knows it. Being so smart, his classmates make fun of him, but he doesn’t much care what anybody thinks of him. He wants to understand how things work and why. His goal when he grows up is to be a scientist. One day, his class visits MIT, and that is when Graeme’s fantastic adventure unfolds. He finds a pencil case with his name on it, full of diamonds. He is rich! He loses interest in being a scientist, knowing he could now have everything he wants in life. Back at school, a strange man parks a trailer on the grounds, and one evening, Graeme sneaks in and is faced with controls and flickering lights. He presses one of the control buttons, but nothing appears to happen. He steps out and finds himself in a classroom, and it is broad daylight. He searches the whole school and finds no one. Obviously, he had been transported to some alien place, but why, and by whom? What he eventually finds threatens the very existence of humanity, and Graeme is the only one who can save everybody.

Realia is an enchanting journey seen from an eleven-year-old’s perspective and understanding, brilliantly told by Ulric Alvin Watts. Graeme’s curiosity, naivety, and desire to understand comes through vividly, something every reader will appreciate. This story can be enjoyed by young and older readers alike, and older readers will relish being transported into their own youth. The story does not take too much time exploring personalities, world views, or thoughtful narrative. Realia is Graeme’s story, and he is only eleven. It is a straightforward story told by a young teenager. Keeping that in mind, readers will thoroughly enjoy being thrust into a world where mysterious Travelers intend to enslave mankind … and what Graeme does to thwart them.

Jacob R LaMar

Created by Ulric Alvin Watts, Realia is a children’s sci-fi novella that centers around a 5th-grade boy-genius named Graeme Pendlebury. Ambitious and confident in his own intellect, Graeme dreams of one day going to MIT for physics, but when he finally gets the chance to visit the campus, he finds himself in a peculiar situation. Perplexed to find a pencil case with his name on it, Graeme’s bewilderment only grows when he opens it to find a fortune of diamonds hidden within. Questions abound surrounding this mysterious turn of events and the truth of how the diamonds got there. Will Graeme successfully uncover the secret of the diamonds, despite his young age, or will the mystery go unresolved for his still-developing mind? The twists and turns will surprise you and the ending may just take you to a place that is unforgettable.

Penned in a similar style to a Percy Jackson book, Realia by Ulric Alvin Watts is written in a child-like tone and with a fun character arc that should be enjoyable for younger readers to read and discover. There are some complicated mathematical and scientific concepts in the book that could confuse those same readers, but the tenor of the text is sure to keep most interested straight to the end. The text appears to be well-written and professionally edited which adds to the overall reading experience. I would recommend this book to readers in the middle to high school demographic. I imagine it would be well-received as an enjoyable and fairly brief read.

Edith Wairimu

In Ulric Alvin Watts’s middle-grade science fiction, Realia, an exciting discovery changes a fifth grader’s perception and leads to shocking revelations. Graeme Pendlebury is a brilliant student who wants to become a physicist. To his teacher’s disapproval, he studies his blood under a microscope after cutting himself accidentally on a microscope slide. His curiosity and intellectual ability set him apart from his peers. Though reserved, he becomes friends with Piper, who he had first met in third grade. Both realize they find their conversations interesting. On a field trip, Graeme finds a pencil case whose contents change how he views school and academics. In another encounter, he is introduced to a futuristic realm. Graeme and Piper must find a way to avert a possible disaster.

Realia by Ulric Alvin Watts introduces an innovative, intelligent character who finds solutions to an impending crisis. As a secondary character, Piper appears ordinary but plays a critical role. She provides her friend with important advice on the issues he faces. She is also clever, loyal, and trustworthy. The field trips and activities the students take part in are fascinating and provide educative content. Surprising elements add intriguing turns to the plot. Graeme’s find also changes his outlook and introduces new possibilities. Other fantasy elements add more thrilling elements to the story. The book also contains important lessons about teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving. Realia by Ulric Alvin Watts is a captivating and entertaining children’s story that contains innovative concepts and fascinating characters.