The newest book that I read is “Genius Files: License to Thrill” by Dan Gutman. It is the newest book in the Genius Files series. And this series is funny! In License to Thrill, Coke and Pepsi (the main characters) get trapped in a volcano, get captured by aliens, and attacked by new villains.
For those of you who haven’t read any of the Genius Files books, I would say that they are a must read. Seriously, after reading this blog, go get the books. These books are so fun and funny. Dan Gutman has a really funny style of writing- it’s like sometimes he’s talking just to you as a reader. For example, there is a part where he says something like “these are the things Coke wanted to do this summer and falling into a volcano wasn’t one of them”. That’s pretty much a real quote but it’s from my memory.
The story of Coke and Pepsi is really interesting. They are twins who are about 12 or so (maybe 10, but they don’t seem to be 4th graders so maybe they are older). They go on a roadtrip and they find out that they are part of a secret government file called the “Genius Files”. The guy that started the “Genius Files” for the government decides to cancel the program and he wants to kill all the living genius kids.
So how are they geniuses? Coke has a photographic memory and Pepsi is really good at ciphers. (like deciphering codes and stuff). They always escape and sometimes they need help from Bones and Maya (two employees from the Genius Files group). They don’t agree with Dr. Warsaw who is the head of Genius Files and wants to cancel the program and kill the twins.
So let’s talk about the villains. The villains are Mrs. Higgins, who is their teacher who burns the school down to kill them (yup, that’s really hard-core, right?). Then these guys who are called The Bowler Dudes, who are kind of like the henchmen for Dr. Warsaw. Oh, and the teacher (the one who burned the school down) has a crush on Dr. Warsaw, which may be why she’s being so bad. John Pain is an evil cowboy who’s another henchman. Archie Clone is another bad guy who refers to Dr. Warsaw as the “son he never had”. Dr. Doominator is this robot who looks exactly like Dr. Warsaw (it’s like he’s a robot clone). These folks are all trying to kill Coke and Pepsi. And, there’s Evil Elvis. I won’t spoil it by telling you too much, but you can see that the bad guys are all pretty weird.
The parents of Coke and Pepsi don’t believe anything about the Genius Files, Dr. Warsaw or the threats on their lives. They just feel like the kids have a wild imagination. Even when things happen right in front of the parents, they just blow it off (like when a giant piano falls, they think THAT was an accident). The mom works for Weird But True and the whole family goes to these museums for her work. It’s usually there where the kids run into the bad guys.
So, in the book you get to travel with the twins and learn about some cool places in the country. Here is a little sneak peek: when they get kidnapped by aliens, they are asked to do some trash clean up on the moon since an astronaut left golf balls on the moon before! “Littering in space is a serious offense”.
This book is so funny and fast paced. I finished the ebook before my mom could go to the library to get the hard copy! If you’re looking for a funny book, I would recommend this. The author does a good job of recapping things in the other books, but I still would recommend starting with the first book: Mission Unstoppable. If you want to give your kid a book he may like, anything by Dan Gutman is good. This series is a bit longer (like 200 pages), but it’s really fast paced, funny, and interesting. There are parts I’ll quote to my mom out loud, but if you aren’t reading the book, it isn’t as funny (that’s what she says- I still think it’s hilarious).
My mom just showed me that there may be a Genius Files movie! That would be so cool.
Have you read these books? Let me know what you think.