School Library Journal, January 1, 2012:
In this sequel to Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It (Delacorte, 2007), Brendan looks at everything as a scientist does, from his rock crystals to his experiments and his pet anoles. He keeps a “log” that he refuses to call a diary. He tracks his scientific findings and his feelings about the social world of middle school. He meets a new girl at his grandfather’s geology club who is also a scientist. While she seems okay at geology club, he is not sure he wants to be her friend at school. He has his guy friends to worry about and does not want to be teased about her. Young readers will have plenty to relate to here. Brendan falls out with friends, has romance issues, faces the loss of a pet, and is constantly trying to impress his imposing father. On top of that, his family is preparing to adopt a baby, which adds plenty of stress to the household. The boy is biracial, and his grandmother calls him her “milk chocolate.” The characters are well developed and the story is realistic. The back of the book is filled with scientific facts about biomass and anoles. Children will enjoy the ups and downs of Brendan’s sixth-grade year and wait eagerly for his future exploits.