July 13, 2017

Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Gregory Mone

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:57 pm by suebe2

jack and geniusesJack and the Geniuses
at the Bottom of the World
by Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Gregory Mone
Amulet Books

This week I’m reviewing two books about pushing limits.  This particular book is about three kids who journey to Antarctica to solve a missing person mystery.

Jack may not be a genius but he’s used to dealing with them.  After all, his siblings Ava and Matt are flat-out brilliant.  The three found each other in the foster system and emancipated themselves.  Now they home school and look for things that need their attention – like the mysterious entrance-less building in their run down neighborhood.  What the heck is going on behind those sleek, high-tech walls?

They use Ava’s drone to find out but something grabs the drone as it flies over the balcony. In their quest to retrieve the drone, the trio make their way through a hidden entrance into a world of science and gadgets.  They have discovered the home and laboratory of Dr. Hank Witherspoon, scientist and inventor.  And it isn’t just the geniuses who adore Hank.  After all, he’s the inventor of the Nose Vacuum (no more stopped up heads!).

Jack is enamored and agrees when Hank invites them to work with him.  But while Ava and Matt work on science (robotics and more), Jack finds himself answering e-mail and fetching coffee.  Its boring and tedious and he’s writing his letter of resignation when Hank suggests that the three journey with him to Antarctica.  Hank has to judge a science competition and this is the perfect opportunity for them to see something of the world.

When they arrive, they discover that Hank’s friend, a fellow scientist, who was conducting research in this frozen world, has gone missing.  Jack doesn’t believe that she just out on the ice.  He corresponded with her and she knew they were coming.  So he sets out to solve a mystery that many of the adults don’t believe exists.

Whether your young reader loves science, mysterious or exploration, this is a great choice for summer reading.  It is all about science and how scientists work without ever being preachy or overt in any way.  Observation, theories, exploration, experimentation and revision are simply worked into the story.  Although many of the gadgets seem like science fiction, they are science fiction in the old school sense – cutting edge science in a new literary application.

There characters are also extremely well drawn.  Jack may not be a genius, but he is a problem solver and explorer.  He’s the one who steps out and tries things.  Ava and Matt are brilliant but that doesn’t make them flawless.  These are real kids who have found their way onto the page.

In truth, the book reminded me of a highly scientific version of the Boxcar Children.  Orphans connect with monied guardian and have adventures.

Share this with the young reader in your life today!

–SueBE

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