Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Genius Files: From Texas with Love by Dan Gutman...

How I Heard About It:  Last year I heard about this series  via Twitter.  Once I read the first book in the series, I knew it was a perfect book for my fourth graders.  We actually read the first book for my "Breakfast with Books" book club and Skyped with the author.  Such a highlight of our school year.  I then read the other two books in the series to myself.  It has been a long wait for book #4 to come out this past week. 

What It Is About: 
As with the other books in the series, this one picks up right where book #3 left off.  Coke and Pepsi are still in Memphis at Graceland.  A character has just been "killed" off and the two kids are not sure what will come next.  Being that the camper has been blown up and the family has lost everything, they head to the store to restock on the necessities and buy a new form of transportation.  It turns out that dad is tired of driving the camper across the country and buys a new sports car.  Coke and Pepsi are thrilled, but mom isn't so sure.  The family makes their way west.  They travel through Arkansas, Oklahoma, and end up in Texas.  During certain parts of their travels, the two young children believe they are finally out of danger and the "bad" guys are finally not after them.  Of course this would be too easy, and the adventures, dangers, and surprises are close behind.  It is up to Coke and Pepsi to stay one step ahead.  This installment of the road trip comes to a very surprising ending leaving the reader waiting for the final conclusion in the last book.  From what I hear, the final book will be out next January. 

What I Thought Of It:  I believe this is one of the best series for young readers.  It has everything they want.  The plot moves along quickly.  There are lots of awesome and great characters.  The adventures and "high jinx" are never ending.  I also love how much geography comes into the story while the family is traveling from San Francisco to Washington D.C. and back home again.  The places that the mom character is researching for her book are completely fun and interesting and actually make me want to hit the open road to check out all these cool attractions.  The 4th book did not disappoint and I can't wait to see what the final book has in store for the readers.  

Who Should Read It:  This is the perfect book for 4th grade readers.  I've used the first book as a book club selection.  I will also be reading the first book to my class this year.  The series can be handled by independent readers in grades four through six.  I would also think an advanced reader in third grade could also be successful with the series.  The Genius Files is a series that should not be missed.  I'm so excited to introduce Coke, Pepsi, and the Genius Files story to my students.  Happy Reading! 

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

 The Genius Files #1:  Mission Unstoppable

The Genius Files #2:  Never Say Genius

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