Science stories for kids: The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow


The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow by Tim Kehoe is one of the Reading Kingdom’s recommended science stories for kids. Melissa Gaynor explains why:

What You Need to Know:

• Vincent doesn’t give up on his goals and in the end is rewarded for his “unusual mind.”
• Vincent has to deal with the loss of his mother and the challenges of a mean step-mother and three step-sisters.
• The characters and the plot are slightly quirky and I can already imagine the animated version of this book.
• Be ready for plenty of “science” speak and fun details of Vincent’s wacky inventions.
• Check out the cool toy invention drawings at the back of the book.


Eleven year old Vincent Shadow is pretty unusual. He likes to experiment and has a unique way of coming up with new toy ideas. Basically he blacks out and a toy invention mysteriously comes to him. How and why this can happen is never really addressed in this unique story.

Vincent’s mother, an artist, was the only one who knew how ideas came to him and she helped him build a secret lab to work on his inventions. When she died he kept the secret to himself. When his dad remarries and he has to live with a step-mother and three step-sisters, life becomes even more difficult. Vincent prevails with the help of some friends, a teacher and one of his step-sisters. He continues to work on his toy creations and enters a contest to work with a famous inventor. Winning would be a dream come true for him. It isn’t easier for Vincent to convince his dad to let him participate or even to get to the contest but he doesn’t give up. The suspense builds, villains try to “foil” the day but Vincent faces and beats each challenge he comes up against.”

Have your children read The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow? What did they think of the book?

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