Chicago! Cleveland! DC! Never Say Genius
The Genius Files: Never Say Genius (Book 2, The Genius Files) by Dan Gutman; published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, New York; 2012.
On the second leg of their coast-to-coast trip to Washington, D.C. for a wedding, Coke and Pep McDonald run afoul of new villains. They are also at the mercy of their parents who make frequent stops at historical sites and off-beat museums. Will their trip be worry-free? Get real! Didn’t you read the first book in the series?!?
While light on plot, the action is nonstop in Gutman’s sequel. Kids will like that. I liked that. However, I was much more impressed by the information presented in the book, thinly veiled as pertinent to Coke and Pep’s travels. Readers are urged to visit online mapping websites (a la Mapquest or Google Maps) to map each leg of their route from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. Real pictures (often provided by Gutman’s fans!) depict the museums, historic sites, and state signs that the twins encounter. The incorporation of other map features, like highway route signs for page numbers, and the frequent posting of miles left to travel impart a lesson that this GPS-reliant generation may not otherwise get. Add the coded messages that Pep deciphers, and this is one edutaining book!
Who wouldn’t want to read about Wrigley Field, Cedar Point, the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, and the Smithsonian Museum of American History?!?