Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman

It's still Wednesday, right?  :)  For a few more minutes!

Ah, this week I read The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman.  I love Dan Gutman's books as a rule.  My Weird School books make me laugh out loud.  (I love AJ!)  They are kind of like the Junie B. Jones books, only better and not so whiney!  My girls, even now, will call people "Neil, the nude kid" when there is a new kid in their class.  Hysterical!

So I had really high hopes when I saw the Genius Files.  He didn't disappoint!

From www.dangutman.comCoke and Pepsi McDonald are a perfectly ordinary twin brother and sister on a cross-country RV trip with their parents. Except for one thing--they are also being chased by a bunch of psychos who are trying to kill them as they stop along the way at The National Yo Yo Museum, The Spam Museum, and various other offbeat tourist attractions. Who is trying to kill the McDonald twins, and why? You'll have to read The Genius Files to find out. This will be way more exciting than any summer vacation you've ever taken.

From Heather:  This book was great!  Really, who names their kids Coke and Pepsi?  Really?  But it worked for them (although I kind of had a hard time remembering if the boy or the girl was Coke or Pepsi?  Or Pep for short)  Dan Gutman uses the same kind of sarcastic humor that he does in his My Weird School books, which makes this a fun read (and if you haven't read those, they are fantastic!  Especially if you have a second or third grade boy that hates to read!).  But The Genius Files is geared more towards older children.  (My first grader loves My Weird School, but I don't think she would appreciate this one as much!)

Coke and Pepsi have some really odd parents (my biggest gripe with juvenile literature, now that I'M the parent!)  The neatest thing about this book was that you can follow their cross-country journey online.  Each time they stop in a town, you can put the town name in Google Maps and it will show you where they are on their journey.  And they focus on out-of-the-way tourist attractions that you have never EVER heard of.  (Except I HAD heard of the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota...only because I can't read that phrase without singing the song!)  

As an adult, I wish things had been fleshed out a little bit more.  The story seemed rushed and didn't flow as well as I would have liked.  As a kid I would have loved it!  Especially the part where Coke uses the RV potty tank as a weapon.  Who doesn't like good potty humor, no?  The end of the book leaves open the possibility of another book (they were headed to the East Coast, and they aren't there yet!)  So it will be fun to see what happens next! 

Overall, I'd give it three and a half stars.  It was funny and a good read, but I would have liked it a little less choppy.  The tourist destination information was awesome though!

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