Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone

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Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Bitter, freezing weather, a bunch of research scientists who may not all be the affable, karaoke-loving clever-clogs they seem, and a missing friend – it doesn't take a genius to work out that this is going to be a thrill-a-minute adventure.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: April 2017
Publisher: Abrams Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781419723032

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It's tough being a genius. There are few, if any, people you can talk about your interests to, and words like nerd, geek and boffin get bandied around by folk who somehow think it's your fault your cleverness makes them feel a bit dim. But how does it feel to be the one surrounded by such geniuses all day every day? Fortunately, Jack is a resilient sort, and his common sense approach to life is going to be essential if he, Ava and Matt are going to survive their trip to Antarctica.

Bill Nye and Gregory Mone are huge fans of science, producing books, journals and TV series for both children and adults. And now in this, their first collaboration, they're co-writing a series of adventures involving science and adventure in equal measures. Ava and Jack, both twelve years old, and fifteen-year-old Matt are all orphans, but not blood relatives. After a series of disastrous foster placements they write a book of cheesy poems to fund their legal fees, then persuade the courts to allow them to divorce their foster parents and live independently. A slightly embarrassing mishap with a drone leads them to go to work for Professor Witherspoon (well, Jack sees all the boring jobs like filing and fetching the dry cleaning as work: the other two spend their days on research and love every minute of it).

Then comes the big excitement: the professor has been invited to Antarctica to judge a contest for the best method of filtering salt out of sea water to make it safe to drink, and he wants his three young companions to accompany him. Once there, and thawed out from the journey, they quickly uncover one unsettling fact: those brainy scientists may seem to float around with their heads in the clouds, but let them get one whiff of a competition, be it for funds, medals or just the chance to be considered the best singer at McMurdo Station, and they are utterly, single-mindedly ruthless. So, where has the professor's friend Anna Donatelli disappeared to? And in a world where you can only stay a very short time outside before you freeze to death, why isn't everyone frantic with worry about her?

The authors have made it one of their major aims with this series to ensure that every fact they mention, be it about mini-submarines, sea-creatures or global warming, is absolutely correct. But don't for a minute think this makes for a dull story: the thrills are there, the perils from frostbite and collapsing ice shelves (not to mention batty scientists) are real, and however hot a day it is readers will find themselves shivering with anxiety and cold as they follow our heroes on their terrifying mission. Cocoa and warm slippers recommended!

If you like reading about exciting adventures and brainy kids, try Alice Jones: The Impossible Clue by Sarah Rubin and the sequel Alice Jones: The Ghost Light. And if you feel the need for a little research on getting by in inhospitable landscapes, you won't do better than to dip into Serious Survival: How to Poo in the Arctic and Other Essential Tips for Explorers by Marshall Corwin.

Buy Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Jack and the Geniuses 1: At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone at Amazon.com.


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