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Book Review: At the Bottom of the World

At the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye, Gregory Mone (5 star review)

At the Bottom of the World
Jack and the Geniuses, #1

written by Bill Nye, Gregory Mone

256 pages // published in 2017 // middle-grade fiction


New York Times bestselling authors Bill Nye the Science Guy and Gregory Mone take middle-grade readers on a scientific adventure in the launch of an exciting new chapter book series, Jack and the Geniuses. The perfect combination to engage and entertain readers, the series features real-world science along with action and a mystery that will leave kids guessing until the end, making these books ideal for STEM education.

In the series opener, Jack and the Geniuses: At The Bottom of The World, readers meet Jack and his foster siblings, Ava and Matt, who are orphans. But they’re not your typical kind of orphans—they’re geniuses. Well, Ava and Matt are, which sometimes makes life difficult for 1twelve-year-old Jack. Ava speaks multiple languages and builds robots for fun, and Matt is into astronomy and a whiz at math. As for Jack, it’s hard to stand out when he’s surrounded by geniuses all the time.

When the kids try to spy on Dr. Hank Witherspoon, one of the world’s leading scientists, they end up working for him in his incredible laboratory. Soon, Hank and the kids travel to Antarctica for a prestigious science competition, but they find that all is not as it seems: A fellow scientist has gone missing, and so has any trace of her research. Could someone be trying to use her findings to win the contest? It’s up to Jack, Ava, and Matt to find the missing scientist and discover who’s behind it all—before it’s too late.

Integrating real science facts with humor and suspense, and featuring an ensemble cast of loveable boy and girl characters, this uniquely engaging series is an irresistible chemical reaction for middle-grade readers. With easy-to-read language presented in a fun, motivating, and accessible way, this series opener is a great book for both inquisitive kids and reluctant readers. The book also includes information about the science discussed and used to solve the mystery, as well as a cool science project about density that kids can do at home or in the classroom.

Bill Nye's brand new talk show series for Netflix, "Bill Nye Saves the World" is set to launch in Spring 2017.

My Review

5 Star Rating

At the Bottom of the World is the start in a new series co-authored by Bill Nye (yes... The Science Guy) and Gregory Mone (a talented author). What does this literary combination give us? A sometimes wacky approach to giving kids what the want (a thrilling adventure) while secretly supplying them with what they need (say, an education in science?!).

Let's get on to the plot. The 3 main kids are super independent (somehow they legally accomplished this task?!). They don't even go to school -- the work with their instructors online, and homeschool. These three siblings may be ethnically different, but are part of the same family, and work together on the same team, and that's what I enjoyed. Family is who you make into your family.

The kids go on an amazing adventure to Antarctica. All because they caught the eye of inventor extraordinaire, Henry Witherspoon. Or as the kids call him, Hank. With a few silly-sounding inventions under his belt, and the means to engineer whatever he desires, who knows where he'll take his new tagalong friends? Well, Antarctica, obviously! I found it rather refreshing to read a story that really tells you how the scientists work down there. It's a whole continent that's basically devoted to... well, the study of science. (I know, I know. I mentioned the 'science' word so many times in this review, but it's such a prevalent element in the book.) But it's definitely NOT a 'textbook' boring kinda book. It's a thrill-seeking adventure into great unknowns. It makes learning seem soooo cool.

Boys and girls alike will love this series.

Available on Amazon in hardcover, e-book, and audio format.

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