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Mission Unstoppable (The Genius Files #1)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  4,366 Ratings  ·  432 Reviews
In eight days, Coke and Pepsi McDonald are going to turn thirteen.

Before then, they'll jump off a cliff, get trapped in the locked basement of their burning school, chased cross-country by murderous lunatics, left for dead in the pit of a sand dune, forced to decipher mysterious coded messages, thrown into a giant vat of SPAM, and visit the world's largest . . . ball of tw
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2011)
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Apr 16, 2015 Courtney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: obob
Condescending author writing about pretentious "genius" kids (who really show no signs of "geniusness" the entire book) who were recruited to be anti-terrorism agents. They travel across the country with their parents with constant reminders that kids are brilliant and adults are idiots on their way to a wedding. At each stop the boy twin spouts his knowledge of the place they're at (because having a photographic memory apparently makes you a genius and of course he's seen something about EVERY ...more
Robert Kent
I want to share with you the first page as it's just a bang-up opening and you know how much I love great openings that hook the reader from the start. Especially when they are followed up with an exciting and engaging novel that is very funny. Read the next paragraph and just try not to get hooked (Go ahead. I'll wait):

There were ten items on Coke McDonald’s to-do list on June 17, but JUMP OFF A CLIFF was not one of them.
CLEAN OUT MY LOCKER was on the list.
PICK UP MY YEARBOOk was on the list.
Sep 18, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of my favorite books of all time it is a thrilling book with some mysteries in it. If you like thrilling and mystery book's I advice you to read it.

The book "The Genius Files, Mission unstoppable" is about 2 kids ,Coke and Pepsi or pep for short are in, after school detention on the last day of school. At this point they are unaware that the school has been set on fire and the room they are in is locked so they can't get out. At this time they have been selected to be in a top s
Mar 16, 2015 Sheri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. This book is like The 39 Clues without a brain (and I can't really put it even close to the same category as The 39 Clues). The story was hard to believe and never seemed to really explain itself. The kids jumped from one perilous situation to another (and never learned to stop going into situations with a stranger and without their parents). I read this with my 10 year old and he liked it a little bit so we started reading the 2nd book, but it was more of the same so neither of us wanted t ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, obob-2016
I started this with my son a few months ago, and once we hit the half-way point he took off on his own and left me the in the dust. That's a testament to what a fun read The Genius Files is. Perfect for 9-12 and maybe even older. I love the emphasis this book places on Americana as the family embarks on a non-traditional trip across the country. And the interactive aspects of encouraging the reader to look things up online is really cool too. Awesome cloak and dagger happenings as well make this ...more
My 4th grader read this because a friend suggested books by the author. He read it in a day and said it was good. That's as much of a review as I could get out of him.
Mar 03, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brenda by: Read together
Shelves: fiction
As soon as school lets out for the summer, twelve year old twins Coke and Pepsi are going on a cross country RV trip with their parents from San Fransisco to Washington D.C. for their Aunts wedding. Little do they know there is a lot in store for them before they will even arrive at their destination. For instance, by walking home from school rather than taking the school bus they end up having this guy wearing a bowler hat follow them in a golf cart. Trying to escape, Coke and Pepsi race to the ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Jan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My kid's book group chose this as one of our books to read this month. It was also one of the books for OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books) grades 3-5 this year. It was definitely a quick read and somewhat entertaining, but fell short for me for a number of reasons. I realize I'm looking at this book with adult eyes and with an adult brain, and that kids aren't going to find faults where I find them. If they can relate to the kids who are the main characters and find them funny and likable, and th ...more
Twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald, just about to turn 13, are informed that they are part of the TGF (The Genius Files), a group of gifted kids hand-picked by Dr. Herman Warsaw, a genius who believed that turning over the fate of the world to kid-geniuses was the answer to global problems. Unbeknownst to them (especially after the twin's parents threw the letter away informing them of their participation), Coke and Pep are mysteriously trailed and put in harm's way multiple times. The question is: N ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Ruby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies, dull, boring, sciencey
Predictable, corny, unlifelike, and boring.

Who wants to read about a road trip?

I acknowledge this book is for younger readers, but the mix of near-death situations and mature concepts aren't right for kids. Also, the plot is way too straightforward (Let's go here! Now let's go there! Now...). The main characters are dimensionless and so are the villains. Also some pretty basic things are left out or just glossed over.

EX: "We almost died? Well, who cares? Let's just not say anything. Mom and Dad
Kathleen Behrendt
This first book sets the stage in the Genius Files series. Twins Coke and Pepsi have been selected to be in the Genius Files beacuse of their intelligence and their being twins. The book starts out with someone trying to kill the twins and the cross-country trip they are taking with their parents. Since their mother writes the "Amazing But True" web-based magazine devoted to odd facts and useless information, they will be visiting many off-beat locations and tourist traps. The action builds with ...more
Jayce Senter
Originally posted here at In the Senter of it All

Genre: Adventure
AR level: 4.8
Grade appropriate: 3rd and up

Overall: 2/5-- Honestly, I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. It was really silly so that will be a plus for a lot of kids.

Creativity: 3/5-- A man creates a list of genius children to help him run the country after 9/11. They are being hunted down throughout the story.

Characters: 1/5-- Eh...

Engrossing: 2/5-- Not so much.

Writing: 2/5-- see my notes on appeal
Jan 22, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is probably one of the greatest books i have ever read in my life. This book is surprisingly, really good for many different reasons. One thing i liked about it is that it explained and talked about numerous facts that are mind-blowing and are just simply amazing. It ranged from being completely weird, to being simply marvelous and really great facts. Another reason is that it builds suspense for the person that's reading the book. This book gives the reader different predictions on wh ...more
This OBOB2016 title was the hateful one for the year. Coke and Pepsi McDonald discover that they're VERY IMPORTANT children who will help to save the U.S. if only they can survive the multiple attempts made on their lives this summer. A couple reasons I hated it: 1)It was sexist. Pep is always crying and being intuitive about stuff while her genius brother Coke does super-active things to save them. 2) it treats the majority of the adults, especially their parents, as idiots. 3) The end makes no ...more
Dec 20, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fourth-grade
Man, I love me some Dan Gutman. He writes so many different types of books I like (Weird School, Baseball Card Adventures) and this is another hit. About twins Coke and Pepsi (yup), who are traveling cross country with their folks via motorhome. While their parents think it's just a normal family road trip to places such as the Pez Museum and the world's largest ball of twine, the kids are really dealing with bad guys and assassins. This would be a great book to do as a read aloud teaching about ...more
Genius Files reminds me a lot of The 39 Clues--brother and sister (twins in this one) find themselves part of a mysterious group of people trying to save the world, finding clues and danger along the way. This one doesn't have the historical interest, but instead has lots of fun, but useless, information--I know more about Pez dispensers, SPAM, and giant balls of twine than I will ever need. :) This one has a little more humor than The 39 Clues, and is great for students looking for adventure, m ...more
I like Gutman and I wanted to give this book a chance. I know that he can write some silly stuff but I wasn't prepared for this one. It starts with twins Coke and Pepsi being chased and leaping off a cliff after they just happen to receive jumpsuits. Now I love a good adventure as much as the next person but this was so cheesy that I couldn't enjoy it. It seemed like every cliche was here and I found that I didn't care if the kids were successful or not. I had to put it down. If you are in for a ...more
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jun 21, 2016 Vernon Area Public Library KIDS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children in grades 3-5
Once school lets out for the summer, brother and sister Coke and Pepsi (yes, their parents have a sense of humor) go on wild (and sometimes deadly) roadtrip with their parents, stopping at every curiosity (i.e. Largest Ball of Twine) along the way. They solve puzzles, defeat evildoers, and triumph in the end. Or did they??? Stay tuned for book two....

Reviewed by Lisa Coleman, Youth Services, Vernon Area Public Library
Ms Threlkeld
I really enjoyed the crazy adventure twins Coke and Pepsi went on and all the interesting and weird facts I learned about places in America, but the ending didn't feel authentic to me. The villain's reason for going after the kids didn't make a whole lot of sense. If you can get past that, you'll enjoy the ride. Looking forward to reading the 2nd book in the series and raffling this off to one of my students.
Marcia Conner
May 05, 2013 Marcia Conner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My son and I loved this book with it's interesting ciphers and hilarious "Amazing and True" stops along a family trip across the US. Reminded me of some of the nutty places my parents took us as kids... well, without fear of being chased by super bad guys. Even the twins seemingly soda-pop names aren't as they seem. A fast, fun, silly, brain-stretching read.
Apr 01, 2011 Marisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boybooks, j-fiction
Recommended by a coworker's son. Cute premise, engaging, funny. Classic Dan Gutman appeal -- a few gross out moments, parents are rather dim and out of touch, kids are smarter than all grown ups. And of course, it will be a series. I predict this will be popular.
Apr 05, 2014 Mickie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable book to read to your kids. Action packed, funny, and introduces unique places in America ( most if which I will never visit but their oddness is intriguing!)
Apr 04, 2014 Lindsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book felt condescending to children, the plot and characters were unbelievable, and the author made the girl protagonist out to be pathetic compared to her brother.
Jake Funaki
Sep 13, 2014 Jake Funaki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was VERY Good. Start this book of series NOW
Tony Keefer
Fun read. Can see lots of middle grade kids liking it. Will be reading the second book soon.
Jocelyn Brame
The more I read, the more I disliked all of the characters. Besides the large amount of traditional gender stereotypes (things like the dad telling his son that the women will do the cooking on the trip because that's what women do, and the men will empty the RV's toilet tank because men do gross things like that, and the common refrain that girls cry and show emotion, but boys don't like/have feelings), the characters had zero depth. I was extremely frustrated with how irresponsible the parents ...more
Jan 31, 2017 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the best book I have read, it is very easy and I like to read it in my free time just for fun I love how I feel connected to the characters, and I feel like I am experiencing everything they are doing, it is so interesting because there are many mysteries and I feel like I am solving them myself, the author really gets into their heads so you understand them so much more than other characters in the book and in other books, I recommend this book for people who just read for fun and dont ...more
Jannah Bosch
Dec 21, 2016 Jannah Bosch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a AWESOME mystery about how two kids (Coke and Pepsi) go on AMAZING adventures and save the day many times, which sometimes is really scary but they do it anyhow!!!!! They are on a trip to Washington DC for their aunt's wedding! They go to all kinds of museums, like the national museum of PEZ despensers !!!!! I can't say any more than THIS BOOK IS REMARKABLE and I suggest it for anyone from 7-10
Jan 16, 2017 Malvika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book!!!!!! I felt like I was in the book it was amazing. Whoever didn't read this book pls read it. A short summary: Coke and Pepsi and their family called the McDonalds go to a road trip where they start they adventure. It is like mission where a evil guy called Herman Warsaw that try to kill them by giving them ciphers and always keeping an eye on them. Question: Is Warsaw actually dead when coke and Pepsi kicked and punched him? While I was reading I had another question that came ...more
Amanda Grafius
Feb 07, 2017 Amanda Grafius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some KIDS they are!!!

The book Genius Files: Mission UNstoppable ( I really like the tilde XD) the kids were crazy,nuts,awsome and most of all #COKE AND PEPSI MCDONALD'S. XD
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The author of over 80 books in a little over a decade of writing, Dan Gutman has written on topics from computers to baseball. Beginning his freelance career as a nonfiction author dealing mostly with sports for adults and young readers, Gutman has concentrated on juvenile fiction since 1995. His most popular titles include the time-travel sports book Honus and Me and its sequels, and a clutch of ...more
More about Dan Gutman...

Other Books in the Series

The Genius Files (5 books)
  • Never Say Genius (The Genius Files, #2)
  • You Only Die Twice (The Genius Files, #3)
  • From Texas with Love (The Genius Files, #4)
  • License to Thrill (The Genius Files, #5)

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