Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Avril Crump and her amazing clones
Avril Crump and her amazing clones
1st Orchard Books ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, 2005.
Physical Description:
212 pages ; 22 cm
Dr. Avril Crump, a chubby, balding, and lonely research scientist at Leviticus Laboratories, befriends three strange clones that were created during a failed laboratory experiment, but when she discovers a plot to destroy them, she embarks on a dangerous mission to save the only friends she has ever known.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.7 7.0 87138.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.4 11 Quiz: 38140 Guided reading level: S.


Call Number
J Woolfe, A.

On Order



In Angela Woolfe's spectacularly funny debut novel, Avril Crump, the bumbling but lovable scientist embarks on a series of unexpected adventures with her newfound friends--who happen to be clones!

Avril Crump, female scientist, is bald, pink, and round, with a weakness for sweets, whose greatest love of all is chemistry, science, the quest for knowledge, and using that chemistry to fix the world's ills. But one day, while Avril is helping herself to a yummy snack, she accidentally stumbles upon a scientific experiment gone awry. When her uncle's old chemistry set collides with a mysterious metal trunk, three clones are created in the accidental explosion. And with this laboratory accident, Avril's adventure begins. She must save her new friends, the clones, from their own creator.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-The first in a set of three, this fantasy falls flat. Dr. Avril Crump, a plump, bald, and lonely scientist, accidentally sets in motion a long-abandoned experiment, resulting in the creation of three "clones." She and her new friends must flee for their lives from the nefarious Dr. Gideon Blut, the man responsible for the experiment, and his beautiful but deadly assistant, Dr. Sedukta. These clones, a talking dog, a little girl, and a freakishly tall man wearing a Napoleonic uniform and speaking pseudo-Elizabethan English, pop fully formed and clothed from a replication chamber containing assorted blobs of DNA. If readers can buy that, they will likely accept the whole messy plot of this action-packed but incoherent novel. There are some very funny bits (the song "My Name Is Mr. Dog" is a winner), but the science is so outrageously inconsistent, the plot twists so unlikely, and the characters so exaggerated that youngsters may wish for less wackiness and more substance. As a final quibble, the whimsical jacket drawing depicts the supposedly bald Dr. Crump as possessing a head of thin but gloriously wavy reddish-orange hair.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

A misfit female scientist, three clones (two human, one mostly canine), and other oddballs thwart an evil scientist in this frenzied British import. Although the comic writing is strong, the plot is often dizzying. Fans of logic and linear tellings will be put off, but lovers of the ludicrous should enjoy this and its promised sequel. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Dr. Avril Crump has never been the standout scientist at Leviticus Laboratories. It doesn't help that since the human-cloning scandal of Dr. Blut 15 years ago, Leviticus has been more interested in regulations than science. It also doesn't help that her supervisor Dr. Wetherby wants so desperately to join the board of directors that he'll step on anyone, especially if it impresses the lovely, mysterious Dr. Sedukta. During an argument in Blut's old lab, Crump and Wetherby cause an explosion that gives life to three mixed-up clones: a talking dog named Augustus, the Elizabethan-tongued Bonaparte, and the mostly normal girl Edna. To Avril, they're friends. To Wetherby, they might be his ticket to the Board. To Dr. Sedukta, who happens to work for the evil genius-in-hiding Dr. Blut, they're just what her employer needs to complete his experiments. Slapstick, mayhem, violence and elementary-school musicals ensue. First in a new modern fantasy series, this British import is of the same cloth as works by Philip Ardagh and Roddy Doyle. Not much for logic, plausibility or character development, this debut is quirky enough to keep pages turning. Not a first purchase, but worth a look. (Fiction. 9-12) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. First-time writer Woolfe arrives with a bang--literally--as a chemical mishap instigated by scientist Dr. Avril Crump leads to the birth of three clones: tall, skinny, Bonaparte; a talking dog called Augustus; and a girl Dr. Crump names Edna, Eddy for short. The story and writing are amusingly over the top, as the balding, baby-face, sweets-loving Avril tries to keep her accidental creations hidden. Soon, however, she's captured by the nefarious Dr. Blut and his deadly assistant, Dr. Sedukata, and the clones, left to fend for themselves, are eventually abducted by a clone of Avril. Well, so it goes, slipping and sliding, twisting and turning the plot, and setting things up for the next two books in the trilogy. Underneath the highjinks, there are actually some scary moments and important philosophical questions about cloning. Dr. Blut is a eugenicist, who is interested in cloning so that he can get rid of the non-viables of the world. The story is fast-paced and quirky, and the comic characters on the jacket will attract readers. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2005 Booklist