JourneyForth Book Review: Nick Newton Series
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Our HomeWorks by Precept Consultants enjoy JourneyForth books in their own homes. Here is a review of the Nick Newton series written by the son of one of our consultants, Micah Vosburgh, age 14.

If your family is made of geniuses, you are one too, right? Not so with Nick Newton. His grandfather is one of the famous men in the country of Thauma, for being a genius and a great general. His father is an amazing artist, his mother is a renowned scientist, his older sister is a genius, and even his baby sister is showing signs of being one. Nick is, well, not a genius. When the boy is dismissed from the Institution for Children of Superior Intellectual Merit for accidentally killing the cuttlefish, he was supposed to display at a science fair, he is discouraged. His parents have trouble getting him into a new school, while he is being tutored by the family's strange butler, Jude.

When Nick finds one of his grandfather's disassembled inventions, a clockwork bird, he tries to put it back together. He discovers that this invention, which he names Plink, will help unlock a mysterious trunk that will most likely contain robotics or reveal secrets from his grandfather's, and other people's, pasts. With the help of his friend Elliot, and the eccentric Solomon Volk, Nick works to find the missing pieces of the puzzle, all while they are writing research papers on toilets, dodging flying baby carriages, and searching for robots that hold valuable pieces and information. Every twist and turn raises more questions.

Why does Nick hear a ticking sound when he is around Jude? Is Solomon Volk really hiding evil secrets? And will Nick and his friends ever be able to open his grandfather's trunk? Read and enjoy the adventure!

Cover used with permission from [Nick Newton: the Highest Bidder] by S. E. M. Ishida. © [2018 ], BJU Press. (available from JourneyForth Books, a division of BJU Press, at

Editor's Note: Nick Newton: The Highest Bidder is the exciting sequel to Nick Newton is Not a Genius and is a 2018 release from JourneyForth books. Watch the trailer to Nick Newton is Not a Genius here.

Nick Newton: The Highest Bidder

Nick's family is made of geniuses, that is, except for Nick. His father, mother, and sisters are smart; very smart. Nick is not. His mother and father are known for their art and inventions. His older sister, Erma, is great at everything she tries, including fencing, which brings out an unknown skill in the family's butler, Jude.

When Nick attends an auction selling some of his grandfather's greatest inventions, particularly robotics, he encounters a mysterious man named Dr. Gristweld. The man seems very interested in the robots, the same thing Nick and his eccentric friend Solomon Volk are after. Volk is trying to rebuild one of his own robots, but the parts that he needs are in danger of going to Gristweld. Volk's budget is low, so Nick and his friend Elliot take it upon themselves to raise some money for him. After several failed attempts to make money, like selling various items, cleaning, and pet-sitting, the boys only raise a small amount.

Whenever Nick and Volk are bidding for certain robotics at auctions, Gristweld is also bidding. The stranger almost always outbids anyone else. Nick starts to wonder what Gristweld is trying to do with the robotic parts he is bidding so high for. When Nick finds some old letters that reveal who Gristweld is and what he is most likely doing now, Nick shares the information with his family. They help Volk try to win the parts he needs, that could otherwise be used for something evil.

What exactly is Dr. Gristweld using robots for? Why is Jude so good at fencing? Will Volk be able to repair his robot? And will the small amount of money that Nick and Elliot raised be enough to out-bid Gristweld? Read and find out! You won't be disappointed!


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