Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Review of "The Peril of the Sinister Scientist," by Janet Ann Collins

I've just finished reading The Peril of the Sinister Scientist by Janet Ann Collins - hard to put it down.  I've now read all of Ms. Collins' books and enjoyed them all!  I'll list them at the end after my review.

aboutThe Peril of the Sinister Scientist is about Joshua, a middle school boy, son of a single mother.  He's always wondered who his father is but his mother hasn't told him.  Finally, the truth will out.  A man  comes to his town - a sinister scientist -- frightening his mother who finally tells Joshua that he is the result of an experiment having to do with the Shroud of Turin and possibly the blood of Jesus Christ.   

Joshua's imaginative mind latches on to this and he believes he's the clone of Christ.  His adventures are just beginning.  It's a mad chase, with Joshua trying to escape the clutches of the scientist, wanting to protect his mother, all while "trying to be like Jesus Christ."  He even believes he'll be able to perform miracles like Jesus when he grows up.  

Things seem to go from bad to worse for Joshua.  Every situation draws him further into his wild imagination.  New facts emerge which change his ideas of his heritage.  In each scenario Joshua tries to "live up to" or "down to" what he believes is the legacy of his father.  Ms. Collins uses humor and every day situations to draw the reader into this fast-paced odyssey Joshua experiences.  This is a good book for plain reading enjoyment and for classroom discussion (with questions included at the end of the book.)

It's a solid addition to Christian fiction, but can also be a positive message for public schools in their study of history and religions.  Teachers could use this book to discuss:  What is the historical Jesus Christ known for?  What is the Shroud of Turin?  How does it relate to the history and study of Christianity?  Even studying scientific issues related to DNA: What is your gene heritage?  What traits are hereditary and what are taught/learned (nature vs. nurture issues)?
Ms. Collins has written books for children (ages 3 - 12).  Her books are available from
 (my reviews are there, too). 

aboutSigns of Trouble - Children with learning disabilities get separated from their Special Education class on a field trip and use what they've learned to get reunited with them. The included activities can help children learn safety rules, understanding of people with special needs, basic reading skills, and creative writing skills. Suggested age: 3-8

Product DetailsSlime and All -  The giant worm, Lump, lives on a farm but the other animals run away from him. He escapes to a town and meets Jake, who takes him to a park where he plays with other kids. This early chapter book for young readers encourages them to think about accepting those who are different. Suggested age: 4-8

aboutSecret Service Saint -  Loosely based on legends about a famous saint, this book tells the story of Nicholas, who discovered the fun of doing secret good deeds. Kids who read or hear the story at any time of the year will be challenged to do the same. Suggested age:  6 - 10

The Peril of the Sinister Scientist - Imaginative Joshua Davidson thinks he might be a clone from the blood on the Shroud of Turin. A scientist who had worked on that experiment twelve years earlier is pursuing him. But who is Joshua really? If he learns his true identity, will his life be changed forever? Suggested age: 8-12
Image of Janet Ann Collins 
Read more about Janet Ann Collins, Writer, Teacher, Speaker, at
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  1. Replies
    1. Hi Jan, I enjoyed this book and want to help get the word out. There's lots here for schools to discuss! Best wishes for success.

  2. Hi Penny, Terrific review of Janet's book. I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing too. Thanks for the listing of her other books too, much appreciated!


    1. Hi Donna, Thanks for your support. I'd been wanting to read this one for awhile, so glad I did. You'll love Jan's humor and the pacing is really good. I like the "science" she brings in, too.