THE BRAIN SUCKER for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

First off I have the winner of last week’s copy of CONFESSIONS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND. Congratulations to  BIBI BELFORD.  She is the MG author of the touching and enjoyable CANNED AND CRUSHED. I’ll get that out to you this week, Bibi. Now on to today’s review…


When I first saw the cover for this book, I was certain that the pages inside would be a graphic novel full of The Brain Sucker by Glenn Woodcartoonish pictures. Wrong. What I found was a science fiction type story set in a contemporary setting with three very compelling teens. First we have our main protagonist, Callum, a boy who has spent his life in a wheelchair. Then there’s Sophie, a wizard at building things, and Jinx, who is trying desperately to control his own bad luck.

THE BRAIN SUCKER was first released in Australia three years ago, followed by Great Britain in 2014, and finally Canada/U.S. in 2015. The book has also been nominated for the 2015 Sakura Medal in Japan (a book award voted on by children and young adults in Japan).

It is a quick read that moves along at a hearty pace as our trio of heroes attempts to stop an evil man from sucking the goodness out of every brain in the city. His secret device has already been successful at turning the nicest people into complete, shall I say, morons.

Reluctant readers will gravitate toward text that has space above and below each line. The story will appeal to 8-12 year-old boys and girls who want to escape on a thrilling adventure to save the world.

PUBLICATION DATE: 2012, 2014, 2015   PAGE COUNT: 221


Evil genius Lester Smythe has a black heart. He’s invented a dangerous brain-sucking machine that removes the goodness from its victims. Now he’s using it to rid the world of all human kindness. But Lester didn’t count on Callum McCullock and his two best friends, engineering whiz Sophie and Jinx Paterson, the world’s unluckiest boy. The trio vow to foil Lester’s evil plan but can they stop him before things go from bad to disastrous?


  1. A wheelchair bound main character is a rarity so this was a welcome surprise. Callum has such a great independent attitude, and getting top of the line new wheels for his birthday starts the story off just right.
  2. Most stories with gadgets have a stereotypical boy in the role of someone who creates these wonders. Here though we have, Sophie, a girl who puts forth her tool belt savvy in almost every scene.
  3. A nice subplot is Callum’s relationship with his grandmother who is trying to adopt him after being his guardian.
  4. I loved how this ended in a climatic battle with the evil genius. Bad news at every turn gives a lesson to writers to surprise your readers.
  5. I smell a sequel as there is so much more to learn about these three characters.


Callum could barely contain his excitement. If his new chair was as good as he hoped, it would make a big difference in his life. When you’re stuck in a wheelchair, mobility is everything, and the Thunderkit looked like it could conquer mountains, or the very least the steps outside the corner shop.


“A great number of people assisted in bringing this book to print, so if you don’t like it, they’re to blame.”Glenn-Wood-Author-Brain-SuckerAbout Glenn Wood –

Glenn Wood is an award winning copywriter and author who has four published books to his credit. These include his popular autobiographical novels – The Laughing Policeman and Cop Out – and two middle school books The Brain Sucker and The Bully Chip.

For more insights and tongue in cheek humor see Glenn Wood’s web site.


The U.S./Canada Edition of THE BRAIN SUCKER is now available on AMAZON. I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but I do like the previous covers better:

getimage 14060474



Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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13 Responses to THE BRAIN SUCKER for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. Sounds like a great story just from the unique characters. I bet kids would like this.

  2. You’re right. The title is misleading a bit but your review makes it sounds so much more appealing. I’ll have to look for it.

  3. I also agree with your cover art comments–it DOES look like a graphic novel/comic book sort of thing. I’m more inclined to be interested by your review than the cover!

  4. Joanne Fritz says:

    It is rare to have a main character in a wheelchair. And it sounds like the story isn’t about Callum’s disability at all. That’s great.

    I prefer the older covers too, especially the one on the right. Is that Australia?

  5. Nice review. Makes me want to read the book. I’m not crazy about any of the covers, honestly, but I do like the idea of the story. Thanks for the post.

  6. Pingback: A review for The Brain Sucker by Glenn Wood | Promo 101 Promotional Services

  7. cleemckenzie says:

    This just has all kinds of kid appeal.

  8. Andrea says:

    Ha ha! This one sounds funny and exciting – perfect combo for kids! Love the diversity in the characters, too. Will have to look for it.

  9. I wonder if they changed the cover cause the other two look as if they could be fantasy stories, so they were trying for something that spoke to scifi. Sounds like a super fun and intriguing read, anyway. Thanks so much for the recommend, and happy MMGM!

  10. The title certainly grabs your attention. Like the diversity in characters — especially a main character who may be disabled but has many abilities. Enjoyed your review.

  11. I love the fact that among the trio is the world’s unluckiest boy. I’d read the novel just to see what gave/gives him that moniker!

  12. Glenn Wood says:

    Glenn Wood, the author of The Brain Sucker here. Interesting debate re covers. The first two were organised by the publisher so when I did the US release I had to get a new cover designed. An art director friend of mine was keen to have a go so I let him loose on it. His cover is certainly more graphic and kid friendly although I hadn’t considered that it could be mistaken for a graphic novel! On school visits I always ask the kids which cover they prefer and they almost always go for the Australian one.

    • Thanks for stopping by. The words on the inside of your book is what makes it special. Any three of the covers wold certainly cause someone to look inside. Best wishes with your future writing.

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