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Mission Unstoppable (Genius Files Series #1)

Mission Unstoppable (Genius Files Series #1)

4.6 243
by Dan Gutman

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The most exciting road trip in history begins! In this action-packed, New York Times bestselling adventure, twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald embark on a family vacation you'll have to read to believe.

With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist


The most exciting road trip in history begins! In this action-packed, New York Times bestselling adventure, twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald embark on a family vacation you'll have to read to believe.

With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files is a one-of-a-kind mix of geography and fun. As Coke and Pepsi dodge nefarious villains from the Pez museum in California all the way to the Infinity Room in Wisconsin, black-and-white photographs and maps put young readers right into the action. And don't miss the next leg of the journey in The Genius Files: Never Say Genius!

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the first book in the Genius Files series, "almost-teenager" twins Coke and Pepsi get caught up in a secret society of brilliant kids chosen to save the nation from terrorists. With an abundance of photographs, clip art–style illustrations, and reader-directed asides—"Ordinarily in a story, this is where the author tells the readers what the main character... look like.... But you know what? Who cares?"—Gutman unfolds his story quickly, and, within pages, readers will be invested in the twins' adventures. After learning someone wants to kill them, they set out on a cross-country RV trip with their parents, receiving death threats, meeting bad guys, and thwarting every evil plan, while making pit stops at such quirky (real) destinations as a Pez museum in Burlingame, Calif., and two gigantic balls of twine in Kansas and Minnesota. Coke and Pepsi are amusing (if accidental) heroes, and their parents are the perfect parody of clueless, overenthusiastic grownups. There is no shortage of humor or action, though the oddball brand of danger shouldn't frighten younger readers. All in all, Gutman continues to do what he does best: entertain readers. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Dan Gutman is a funny man and a prolific writer and the Genius Files, his latest excursion into early teen adventure and absurdity will likely find an immediate audience. It is not, however, without flaws. Fraternal twins Pepsi and Coke McDonald are super-smart California kids who are, unknowingly, part of a post 9/11 experiment by a mad scientist to identify the brilliant kids who can combat terrorism. But Mad Dr. Warsaw, the instigator of The Genius Files, rapidly loses faith in his experiment and vows to destroy all the brilliant children he earlier identified. Sending his minions out to kill Pepsi and Coke, he does not account for Coke's endless, prank-honed tricks that save the pair from the "Bowler hat dudes" and their freakishly tall gym teacher (Jane Lynch, anyone?). They are also protected by Mya and Bones, the disguised school janitor. Their clueless parents take the twins on a cross-country jaunt in a rented RV to all the odd places that America has to offer like the Pez Museum, the Singing Sands Monument, and the Spam Factory. Getting to each of these off-the-beaten-track sites depends on Pepsi's ability to decipher clues left for the twins as to where their arch nemeses will next appear. The story culminates at the House on the Rock, an architectural oddity in Wisconsin where the twins are lured into the Infinity Room and Dr. Warsaw may, or may not, have met his doom. Gutman's references to Monty Python's Spam Song will likely sail over the heads of kids. For me, the most disturbing plot device in the book is the use of 9/11 as the cause of Dr. Warsaw's madness and his Mengele-like attempt to isolate children based on intelligence. Still, the book is exciting, full of far-fetched facts, and a page turner. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—On an ordinary day, Coke, 12, and his twin sister, Pepsi, are chased along a cliff path by a man wearing a bowler hat and driving a golf cart. This is only the first of a series of events in which people, including their health teacher, try to kill them. Eventually they learn that after 9/11, a man who survived the attack at the Pentagon developed a plan, outlined in what came to be called The Genius Files project, to identify children who will solve the world's problems. Based on their standardized test scores, Coke and Pepsi are chosen to be in the first Young American Geniuses group. But before the two can begin to fully grasp this fact, they are whisked away on a cross-country road trip with their parents, stopping off at many wacky tourist traps. Along the way they find ciphers giving them clues to potential attempts on America that they need to try to stop. While this is a fun and mostly funny adventure, it has many plot holes and suffers from poor character development. The Genius Files is only marginally explained and the ending peters out with an attempt at a cliff-hanger. Gutman sprinkles the book with interesting photos and instructions for following the children on their journey, making it a great road-trip novel about offbeat side excursions, but the mystery aspect doesn't quite fit.—Necia Blundy, Marlborough Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews

Preteen twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald find themselves battling for their lives while visiting some of America's premier roadside attractions. The prospect of a summer trip from California to Washington, D.C., in a rented RV has the twins underwhelmed—until several murder attempts make a getaway considerably more appealing. It seems that Coke and Pepsi have been unknowingly co-opted into a Secret Government Program, and their first mission is simply to stay alive as mysterious assassins follow them and their oblivious parents on a wandering itinerary from Nevada's Singing Sand Dunes to the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minn., to the rococo House on the Rock in Iowa County, Wisc. Encouraging readers to follow along, Gutman tucks Google Map directions and small photographs into the margins while salting his tale with coded messages and rousingly icky brangles involving the RV's septic system and a giant tank of liquefied SPAM, along with his usual generous measures of quick action and snarky repartee. He also leaves the McDonalds with at least 1,000 more miles of giant statues and other local wonders to visit—so stay tuned for Part Two. (Adventure. 10-12)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Genius Files Series , #1
Sold by:
Sales rank:
730L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years


Meet the Author

Dan Gutman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Genius Files series. He is also the author of the Baseball Card Adventure series, which has sold more than 1.5 million copies around the world, and the My Weird School series, which has sold more than 10 million copies.

Thanks to his many fans who voted in their classrooms, Dan has received nineteen state book awards and ninety-two state book award nominations. He lives in New York City with his wife, Nina. You can visit him online at www.dangutman.com.

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Mission Unstoppable 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 243 reviews.
Reut Hendel More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book so much! I was laughing out loud for a good portion of it, and the other parts I was anxious to see what came next. This book was about Coke and Pepi, two kids singled out and had more than one would care to count enemies trying to get them and kill them because of a reason mentioned in the book. That's the reason I docked it down just a star, because of the consistent references to death... However, despite that the book is light and funny, and the author does a good job of keeping the humor and teamwork up between the two. Recommended for ages 9/10 and up.
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable is a delightful read for boys and girls. Dan Gutman has a great way of weaving a fun story and packing it with a lot of fun facts about America. Kids can follow along via google map every were that Coke and Pepsi go on their adventures. The author tells the young reader to go and look it up on their computers if they want to follow along and exactly how to do it. I thought this was a very fun idea and might get a child more involved in reading the book. Coke and Pep (as everyone calls her) are very smart children. Coke is a bit smarter than his sister, but she is very good at decoding secret notes. From the very beginning of the book there is a lot of action as Coke and Pep find out that there are people trying to kill them. They learn that they are part of a group The Genius Files but they didn't know this because they have some very absent-minded. Some people don't like The Genius Files and want to destroy it so they are trying to kill the kids that are involved. Right as they figure out that someone is trying to kill them they are also taking a cross country trip to their Aunts wedding. So you get to go with them on a big adventure to all sorts of places like the Pez museum, The National Yo-yo museum, visit the singing sand dunes, etc. All those places sound very interesting and unique. I think anyone who likes to read Middle Grade books from adults to children would enjoy taking the adventure that Coke and Pepsi take and I would recommend it for everyone! I can't wait for the next stop in The Genius Files.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books ever written by one of the best authors ever. There are plenty of reason to rate this five stars, read it and you wil understand why.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dan Gutman never ceases to amaze his fans!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it. Worth thr buy......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was an adventouas book full of drama
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just 1 thing i love this book i think it is AMAZING i cant wait for the 2 book to come out
Tonya Madison More than 1 year ago
I love it ! It's great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book .I can't stop reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is awesome. Cant wait t read 2nd.
Nicholas Tracchia More than 1 year ago
that was the best book i have ever read in my life
GHott More than 1 year ago
The whole family loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best dang book ever recamended 9-12. Awesome touch yes if you will read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very great book for 10 and up years old .i highly recomend this book to any one .cant wait to get d new one wich is the secomd one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book its about Coke and Pepsi(Pep) they have an amazing adventure!
Elizabeth Dingwall More than 1 year ago
This is such a great book. It is full of adventure. I cannot wait until the next book comes out.
Nicole Greenleaf More than 1 year ago
Its a really great book. I camt wait for the next oje.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was just ok. I am10 and thought this was going to be much more advanced! My sister can read this. She is 7! Just ok. =]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book with the ciphers to the architecture setting it was totally me but i wasn't a big fan of them just killing a guy then walking away. Also the epilouge isnt much of one. I would probably recommend this book!?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont usually read but dan gutman knows how to write. Read this book and others
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dan Gutman has done an awesome job writing this series! Every time I read a genuis files book, it is always unpredictable. That is very hard to do, yet that is what Dan Gutman does. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this book