The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman is a 4-5 grade juvenile fiction novel.
Twelve-year-old Coke and Pepsi are getting read to go on a cross country road-trip with their “clueless” parents, when they find out that they are being targeted by a mystery group that is out to kill them. Good thing they are hitting the road for awhile. Or is it?
Coke and Pepsi seem to have been roped into a secret government organization called The Genius Files, where it is up to genius kids to save the world. With no real choice in the matter, the twins go about their vacation with one eye open but can they keep the secret from their parents and more importantly, will they make it home alive?
Full of geography and little-known tourist destinations around the county, The Genius Files is a quick, action packed read.
And with that summary, I hate to say, I wasn’t wowed by this book. It could be because of the many “questionable” moral decisions the twins make–but they didn’t feel even remotely like realistic characters to me. And I get that this is fiction and they really aren’t meant to be “normal” but I didn’t find them relatable at all.
I did enjoy the many out of the way, wacky destinations that Gutman includes in the novel and it’s sort of neat that you can follow along via Google Maps if you want to. I could totally see an interesting book report coming out of this.
The ciphers were fun; I am a sucker for a good cipher. I could totally see making one up for my book club to uncover. You could even do a STEM project where each cipher leads to a different spot on a map, until you discover your final location.
Overall, this was an entertaining read and I think will be popular with fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants and Dog Man. But for me, it only gets three stars.
That’s all for now!